Lincoln Brochure Turns Area Residents Into Promoters
Barry Matherly thinks he’s found a way to leverage his small staff into hundreds of economic development ambassadors for Lincoln County. Matherly, executive director of the Lincoln Economic Development Association, has devised what he calls “community network marketing” that involves distributing a pocket sized brochure to contact outside the Charlotte region. The publication, dubbed a “pocket promoter,” is filled with photos and information about Lincoln County’s pro-business attitude. “I wanted to determine how to get more people selling,” Matherly says. “Any economic development office is small.” The Lincoln Economic Development Association has three employees, including Matherly. The goal is to have area residents distribute the brochures whenever they travel to other cities and countries. So far, the development association has trained 150 residents on how and where to use pocket promoters. Those include business executives, community leaders and salespeople who often travel outside the region. “The established networks of local businesses, residents, organizations and associations become the channels used to reach decision makers at companies throughout the world,” Matherly says. The program started July 1, and it’s already showing results. Thanks to copies of the pocket promoter distributed in Atlanta, Matherly has received two requests for information. The task, of course, is to convince business executives in other cities to consider Lincoln County for a relocation or expansion of their companies’ operations. Using photos of life and work in the county, the brochure depicts Lincoln County as a great place to work and live, Matherly says. “It has a wonderful country, small-town, lakeside ambience, sophisticated resources for family life and big-city amenities close by,” he says.