EDA: Marketing key to success

Published 1:14 pm Monday, September 25, 2006

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

Wiley Blankenship was enjoying a cup of coffee recently when he came face to face with the fruits of local efforts to market the area.
Coastal Gateway Economic Development Authority, which Blankenship directs, teamed with local chambers of commerce in Escambia, Monroe and Conecuh counties to produce a commercial to attract visitors to the area.
When Blankenship was in downtown Brewton at the Book &Bean, he met a pair of women from Baldwin County who came to Brewton after seeing the commercial.
Blankenship said that kind of marketing can attract not only visitors but also new businesses and new residents.
Coastal Gateway's Web site, now fully functioning, is also seeing hits based on the commercial that is airing on select cable stations along the gulf coast.
Blankenship said marketing the area is a proactive approach to economic development in the region.
Coastal Gateway Economic Development Authority is a partnership among Escambia, Conecuh and Monroe counties. Funding comes from public and private investors.