After a quick intro and some housekeeping items (see bottom of blog) from AMA Atlanta President, Mary, Kate promptly captured our attention by opening with the brand new ChooseATL video (below), and a depiction of a longtime project of hers that sits very close to her heart, Kate’s Club. For those unfamiliar, Kate’s Club is an organization on a mission to empower children and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling.
Kate explained the new promotional video as a love letter to Atlanta, and it was extremely well received among the attendees. Kate explained the thought process behind this video, explaining her perspective that Atlanta is a very unique community. “Our hospitality is Atlanta’s secret sauce for new college grads looking to make something happen.” Here, in Atlanta, young people have the unique opportunity to step in and immediately get their hands dirty, similar to how Kate started her Club.
As you can see, Kate’s Club is as unique an organization as Atlanta a city, and Kate explained her journey as a young person getting her hands dirty in bringing it to life. From hosting a bar night which raised $1,200, to now residing in a Midtown clubhouse (tour here!) with a full-time staff of five; Kate’s Club has come a long way and the passion + hustle to pull this off was thanks to Atlanta’s hospitable ecosystem. As Kate explained, people surrounded her concept and mission, and we are seeing similar today with the ChooseATL initiatives.
In creating a powerful ChooseATL brand, and driving social impact, it’s important that we are collectively intentional about who we attract and bring to our city, as they hold an integral part in shaping the future of our community. Kate has been working relentlessly over the past few months to promote narratives around the special energy we all feel in Atlanta, and learning to boast:
“Look at us! We are a global star!”
– Kate Atwood
Kate then highlighted two main strategies around the ChooseATL.com branding:
Meaning, meet the candidates, who are weighing various choices and options, in the virtual space where they’re already playing. Show them all the neighborhoods Atlanta has to offer. Describe to them the vibrant scene that is downtown, and the walkability. The website should reflect these key attributes, and candidates should walk away feeling virtually connected and aware of all Atlanta has to offer.
Share with the world what Atlanta has to offer! From movies, to entrepreneurship, to startups and major corporations; Atlanta is rockin’. Kate even joked about starting a hashtag #WhoKnew to exemplify all of Atlanta’s attributes and misinformed perceptions. This is where the Imagine ad campaign concepts were derived.
An interesting finding within the Metro Atlanta Chamber, that Kate shared, is that other competitive cities of similar size have been successfully marketing themselves all along! Look at Houston, Columbus, and Nashville for example. It’s time we begin sharing with the world what we have to offer, and creating a sense of connection to those who may not have an opportunity to visit prior to making a career decision.
A few tools, or engagement tactics, Kate is considering introducing include a Neighborhood Quiz to determine where you might fit best in the city, as well as a portion of the website dedicated to Atlantans sharing their stories and reasons why they chose Atlanta. Stay tuned…
The latest installment of events Kate organized included the Ultimate Job Interview Contest, which opened for entries back in October 2015 and the finale event was held this January 5-6 at the Georgia General Assembly in Ponce City Market. The contest is for college students who are looking to Choose ATL and leave their mark on the city, and Kate hopes to grow the competition in size each year. There’s no doubt that this is a winning recipe, as directly pitching top executives for jobs (as well as a hefty check) will surely capture the attention of college students. Although engagement was no as high as initially expected, ChooseATL was still able to capture valuable evergreen content, and new platforms for marketing the city through each of the contestants’ entries. As always, feedback is invaluable, so feel free to provide your feedback and ideas via the Contact Us form here. Congratulations to all the #UJIC finalists and winners!
Kate wrapped up the presentation by discussing the four key roles required to grow the ChooseATL program, and again discussed the intentionality aspect being a necessity in conveying the right message. It’s important we highlight both the good and bad that Atlanta has to offer, as we’re far from perfect. The roles Kate described that are necessary to our success are here:
Honest Evangelists: Realistic and honest. Atlanta is a place where you can make a difference. Just look at Detroit and Baltimore—Millennials flocked there following unsatisfactory newscasts, and decreases in public opinion, because they are places that at 21 you can step in and get your hands dirty to make an immediate difference.
Enthusiastic Hosts: This points back to capturing Atlanta, and the South’s, hospitable nature. We must find a way to convey this message on social medias, like LinkedIn, which is growing immensely in the 18-24 year old demographic.
Valued Connectors: Think jobs, social initiatives, and volunteering. The Ultimate Job Interview Contest is a start, but we must continue to provide resources for young people considering our community.
Creative Storytellers: Provide those considering Atlanta with a lens to look through. Otherwise, they might not know what they’re looking at! This is the space where creative marketing and advertising campaigns will be of the utmost importance, as they’ll shape the first impression many receive of the professional landscape Atlanta has to offer.
Lastly, for those of you attending SXSW Interactive this year, the Metro Chamber and Choose ATL will have a house on Congress March 13th and 14th. Object 9 will be there, Kate surely will, and we hope to see Atlanta show up in big numbers for the takeover!
With ChooseATL as the platform, this is just the beginning of many exciting initiatives to come.
For those of you still in school, the 30th Annual Collegiate Conference Mixer is coming up on February 25th, with the actual Collegiate Conference & Job Fair itself being held on the 26th. The 59th Annual AMY Awards at the fabulous Fox Theatre are quickly approaching quickly, and sure to be a good time–hope to see you there!
Mary Stenmark, 2016 AMA Atlanta President, used the event introduction to point out these key dates, and a few opportunities for AMA Atlanta members: 1) The AMA Atlanta job board (30 day free trial; post for as little as $145), and 2) AMA Atlanta Mentorship program. Both valuable opportunities for those interested.. Finally, and impressively, AMA Atlanta is now the 3rd largest Chapter nationally, quickly catching up to Houston. Let’s do it, Atlantans.
For more information on why you should #ChooseATL, check out their sites here:
Let’s build something exceptional together.