Jan 17, 2012

Madison needs to sell itself better, business and community leaders told at ‘Advance Now’ Community Leadership Summit

Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal
By Judy Newman

The Madison area may be a great place to live and run a business, but people outside the region don’t know it, consultant J. Mac Holladay told community leaders on Wednesday.

“There is no question that this is a strong place,” Holladay said. But the problem is: “Nobody knows about you. Nobody knows what’s happening in the Madison region,” he added.

Holladay’s comments led off the latest meeting of Advance Now, an economic growth project for the region. About 175 business, community and government representatives attended the session at the Sheraton Hotel.

Holladay and his Atlanta consultant group, Market Street Services, have been meeting with site selection groups around the U.S. and analyzing results of 1,500 surveys filled out by area residents. He said marketing efforts for the area are “not up to the quality that you deserve.”

Holladay presented five strategic goals:

  • Pursue a regional approach to job creation and business growth.
  • Attract and grow top talent.
  • Provide capital and support to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
  • Develop internal and external marketing efforts for the region “to become globally recognized as a competitive and distinctive place for businesses, talent and quality of life.”
  • Establish partnerships to enhance regional collaboration.

All five are connected, Holladay said. “They reflect what people told us they want to see happen.”

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