Branding Your Community for Economic Success

Includes a Live Event on 10/17/2019 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

The Big Apple. The Windy City. Silicon Valley. For most Americans, these monikers instantly evoke the image of a city or region along with the industries they're best known for. However, the vast majority of local governments don't have such an easily recognizable brand. Discover how building a brand for your community can pay dividends in tourism, business development, and resident engagement.

In this webinar, you’ll join speakers from Murrieta, CA, Gainesville, FL, and Valdosta State University as they give you the tools you need to develop your community's brand in order to attract outside investment and spur economic development. They will discuss:

  • Academic research on how local governments engage in marketing and branding
  • How to center citizens in your marketing strategy
  • Methods for tracking the success of your marketing campaign
  • How to balance your brand with your community identity

    Scott Agajanian

    Deputy Director of Development Services – Economic Development

    Scott Agajanian is the Deputy Director of Development Services – Economic Development for the City of Murrieta, California.  This protracted municipal title simply means that his role is to grow the economic base of the City through the attraction, retention and expansion of business in the City.  This is done through a variety of programs and activities that include development of workforce initiatives, partnerships with educational institutions to expand pipeline programs for students, outreach to business, investors and developers, and marketing of the City of Murrieta to the region, state and beyond.

    Scott has considerable experience working in the Murrieta Valley for over fifteen years and this includes 3 years in the Economic Development Department with the City of Murrieta. He says, “My passion has always been growth of the business community and keeping our dollars local.  It is my belief that a foundation of small businesses that are supporting each other, along with a healthy startup ecosystem will help further the growth of not only small business, but all business.” While working for the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce in Business Development for nearly four years Scott was instrumental in furthering the success of businesses within the city.

    As the City of Murrieta is in an economic growth phase, it is complementing this period of expansion with a pro-business culture and an expanded marketing plan, featuring the new City branding campaign, “Connected by Community.”  Scott is actively involved in this campaign and believes that awareness of our City, our business and development friendly environment and our wonderful demographics will produce even greater opportunities for Murrieta.   

    M. Blair Thomas

    Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Valdosta State University

    M. Blair Thomas, PhD, MPH, MPA is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Valdosta State. His research interests broadly focus on how local and state governments engage in marketing and branding from a strategic management perspective. His work has appeared in various academic publications including the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing

    In the classroom, Dr. Thomas is an award-winning instructor with teaching experience at several institutions including Florida State University, the University of Central Florida and Portland State University. Driven by a teaching philosophy that values the continual development of personal relationships to identify student passions, Dr. Thomas aims to cultivate a classroom that builds upon the basic tenants of public administration theory by infusing examples of real-world application with references to the impact that pop culture, social movements and sport have made on today’s policies. He tailors each course to meet the changing demands of each particular class culture while upholding a commitment to social equity.

    Dr. Thomas has served on numerous boards and commissions, most recently on the Leon County (FL) Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and notably as Secretary of the Oregon Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports from 2010 to 2012. Prior to pursuing his graduate education, Dr. Thomas worked in marketing and merchandising for Adidas America- CIP Marketing, from 2007 to 2010.

    A native of Portland, Ore. you will likely catch him discussing the plight of the Portland Trail Blazers, riffing about how to infuse the latest trends in sport fashion into academia or his constant search for the perfect hazelnut latte. Dr. Thomas received his Ph.D. and M.P.A. from the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University and also holds a M.P.H. from the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. Dr. Thomas received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Portland.

    Anthony Lyons

    Founder, Urbuu ; former city manager, Gainesville, Florida

    Anthony started his career in business as the founder of several technology companies before a move to urban revitalization and community development.  Nearly 20 years later his work has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Washington Post, Forbes and The Hill among numerous other media outlets.  He has served in numerous public sector positions including most recently as City Manager of Gainesville, FL. and has received over 80 awards from international, national, state and local organizations in recognition of various community building efforts.  His design sense was informed while attending Indiana University studying Art History, attached to an I.M. Pei designed building. In his personal time he has raced in a Sprint Triathlon National Championship, is a two-time All American in master’s track and placed 5th nationally twice, has been married for 25 years and has a very cool high school aged son. 

    Currently he is the founder of Urbuu, a solutions design consultancy with projects across the globe.


    10/17/2019 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
    10/17/2019 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
    Evaluation Survey
    15 Questions
    1.50 ICMA CE credits  |  Certificate available
    1.50 ICMA CE credits  |  Certificate available