The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership is pushing forward with an effort designed to tell the “authentic” economic story of the 10-county region. The organization has released findings of its Our Story Project. They include developing a “bigger, bolder and more assertive” identity, increasing inclusiveness and “unleashing genuine strength.” February 16, 2015
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (January 14, 2015) – Who are we and where are we going as a region? Those were the questions the Our Story Project posed to Northeast Indiana. More than 800 people weighed in through in-person workshops and an online workshop, and last night the results of the project were released by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, which spearheaded the project, at a public reveal event held at Manchester University's Fort Wayne campus.
“When you know who you are, you gain clarity in how you talk. With all of the input gathered through the Our Story Project, our region now has an authentic story to tell,” said Courtney Tritch, vice president of marketing at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. “Through the process we also discovered an essential piece to our story: how the region wants to evolve.”
The results of the Our Story Project center around five conclusions:
1. People in Northeast Indiana know who the region is regardless of where they live. Perceptions of the region’s personality stayed consistent from county to county.
2. The region knows who it’s not and what it doesn’t want to be.
3. Northeast Indiana residents want the region to be bigger, bolder and more assertive.
4. Societal change is needed for a lasting legacy. The region must focus attention on being more inclusive in order to bring more people together, attract new talent and inspire growth.
5. Northeast Indiana has a compelling cause, boiling down what the region stands for into three words: unleashing genuine strength.
The purpose of the Our Story Project was to create a master narrative for the region. The narrative focuses on five message platforms that anyone can use to talk about Northeast Indiana – and be assured that it's the region's authentic story:
1. Time-Honored American Strength: As a region, we represent the best of what it truly means to be American. Since 1794, our tenacious drive to succeed is matched only by our unwavering resolve and strength. Together we collaborate toward a shared vision of growth, and an ever stronger community. Hard work, innovative craftsmanship, and a “don't quit” mentality are a foundation for all that we do.
2. Spirit of Collaboration: As a region, we know that the contribution of many trumps the success of the individual every time. We count on each other and value our sense of team and family, creating and leveraging partnerships and working together. We are united for the common good.
3. Progressive Leadership: The pride and confidence of our region is rooted in our constant determination and creative ability to adapt. As leaders, we move forward despite opposition, to persevere and advance our community. We take calculated risks to realize progress, all founded by our industrious attitude and dependable people.
4. Uphold and Embrace: We endeavor to progress while respecting our heritage. Likewise, we aspire to leave a legacy for future generations, by strengthening our community through a spirit of inclusiveness. The region seeks to honor the best in our traditions, while maintaining an openness to new ones.
5. Big-Hearted Hospitality: As a region, our friendliness and hospitality are a guiding force for how visitors perceive us. We welcome visitors with an easy-going smile and a welcoming hand. Our region empowers and encourages communities to be respectful of others and look out for our neighbors. The Our Story Project Results, complete with messaging examples, can be found in the Resource Center on the Regional Partnership's Vision 2020 website. A condensed version of the results with users' guide is also available to download.
This new “voice” of the region is already being integrated into current and future marketing efforts by several organizations in the region. Early adopters include the City of Angola, Noble County Economic Development Corporation, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Visit Wabash County and Wells County Chamber of Commerce.
Indiana Michigan Power sponsored the public reveal event. The Our Story Project was sponsored by 21Alive, 95.1 Best FM, Chase, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Michigan Power, Parkview Health, BKD LLP, Design Collaborative and Novae.
For more information about the Our Story Project, visit www.neindiana.com/ourstory.
The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.
Source: The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership