The city of Carlsbad’s “Life in Action” talent attraction campaign aims to share the untold stories of opportunity available for skilled professionals in this city that’s 35 miles north of San Diego and home to the second-largest life sciences cluster in the U.S.
City officials began work on the campaign in 2012, as they began exploring the launch of a talent initiative, website and brand that would promote the southern California city, that, like other West Coast cities, doesn’t always get as much exposure as well-known places like Silicon Valley – but has equally important talent stories to tell, and plenty of jobs to boast.
Through 18 months of extensive research, business surveys and stakeholder meetings, Carlsbad created a unified voice and produced a website that meets local industry needs and spreads the message of a coastal city that’s innovative, entrepreneurial and home to smart talent. As soon as the Carlsbad Life in Action website launched in June, the business community responded with an overwhelming, “Thanks for creating this. May we have more?”
So the city isn’t stopping here. It has plans to continually expand and evolve the website and overall talent campaign, including hosting face-to-face roundtables with business leaders to determine how the campaign can be more relevant, and how it can aide in recruiting talent.
DCI spoke with Christina Vincent, the city of Carlsbad’s economic development manager, to learn more about the recently launched campaign.
Launch Date: June 11, 2014
Budget: $80,000 for consultant work, website development and brochure printing. City economic development staff wrote the website copy themselves.
What DCI Loves about the Campaign:
Clever, creative copy artfully crafted to reach community’s target demographic: Carlsbad did its research to make certain it understood the city’s key audiences and tailored the copy accordingly. The witty content – written 100 percent in-house by the city’s small economic development staff of 1.5 people (these economic developers must have double majored in English literature, because they sure can write!) – serves its purpose to appropriately speak to 20-to-40-somethings, and the mid- and senior-level executives Carlsbad aims to reach.
The content doesn’t focus heavily on local government; rather, the site was created to be completely different from the city’s website and focus on local business assets, along with the reasons the city is a good place to work, live and learn.
The copy is concise and truly relevant to young professionals, getting many points across in just a few words. To wit, “Save lives or a birdie. Carlsbad has a strong life sciences cluster and is the golf capital of the world.” is just one of the site’s exceedingly fun “Top 10 Reasons to Work in Carlsbad.”
Unique parallax scrolling platform sets Carlsbad apart: From the current surf conditions and local weather report, to the “Top 10 Reasons to Work in Carlsbad” mentioned in the previous slide, Carlsbad’s site delivers information in a way that’s fun and simple, and drives home the purpose of the campaign, which is to provide easily accessible facts and information on the community’s industries and companies.
Still, the city didn’t want to place too much emphasis on the beaches and the surfing, lest potential workers think the locale is largely for tourists or beach bums. The main focus is smart people and innovative business. A few images include beach pictures, or lagoon images, but the images always aim to show the true nature of the community and people who choose to call Carlsbad home.
Promoting jobs through social media: Carlsbad didn’t want its website to be a one-stop-shop for jobs, but rather, a relevant resource, especially for HR managers at local companies, for sharing information with prospective employees about what it’s like to live and work in the city, the strength of industries in the area, and how local businesses are growing and operating on a global scale. The site’s news section includes significant job announcements, and the city plans to use mediums such as Twitter and LinkedIn to promote specific jobs.
Plans for evolution of campaign based on business community feedback: Carlsbad is working to ensure that all of its content stays relevant and strikes a chord with its target audience, refusing to let the campaign get stagnant. After the site has been up for a few months, the city will analyze the pages that people are clicking on most, and determine which functions are being accessed most frequently – and then add to those sections.
Carlsbad is also planning another business survey at the end of this year, in an effort to get feedback on the talent attraction brand, how businesses are using it, and obtain additional suggestions for how the campaign can be even more successful, and deliver more jobs.