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Kansas City Area Development Council Recognized as International Award Finalist for Talent-Focused Marketing & Communications Strategy

by Laura Patriquin | Nov 09, 2023

The organization was the only U.S. finalist for City Nation Place’s Best Communication Strategy Award, recognized for its video campaign, “The KC Design Draft”

Kansas City RegionNov. 9, 2023The Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) announced today that it was recognized as a finalist for the City Nation Place Global Awards held in London.

The award category, “Communications Strategy: Economic Development,” recognizes campaigns that best exemplify the strategic aim of attracting investment or talent. KCADC’s strategy was the only one from the U.S. to be recognized as a finalist, competing against campaigns from New Zealand, Denmark, Canada, Scotland and Lithuania. 

“KC is an amazing place to live and work – and KCADC is proud to help tell that story to the world, ” said Jonathan Knecht, senior vice president of marketing and creative services at KCADC. “International recognition like this helps us shine a spotlight that puts the entire KC region on a global stage. ”

The finalist campaign, called KC Design Draft, was developed for KCADC’s strategic initiative focused on the region’s design and construction industry, KC Global Design, in collaboration with Kansas City-based engineering and construction firm, Burns & McDonnell, along with investor firms, BNIM, HNTB and JE Dunn and media partners, Spectrum Reach and Steel City Media. The video campaign worked to attract top-tier talent and launched in parallel to the NFL Draft, which Kansas City hosted in April 2023.

“Kansas City is a hub for design and construction talent and there are endless opportunities here,” said Melissa Lavin, vice president, marketing and external communications, Burns & McDonnell, and board member of KC Global Design. “Kansas Citians make a global impact by designing and building the world’s critical infrastructure and most important projects.”

A creative take on how the region’s architecture, engineering and construction firms “draft” highly-skilled talent to their companies, the video featured cameo appearances from local celebrities, including acclaimed multimedia journalist Abby Eden, entrepreneur and renowned film critic Shawn Edwards and Emmy-winning sports broadcaster Joel Goldberg. 

Capitalizing on the momentum for Kansas City during and following the Draft, the video amassed more than 400,000 impressions among early career professionals across the Midwest. This potential talent pool was guided to a curated aggregate of more than 1,100 open job positions at KC Global Design firms across the metro.

“KC design and construction firms are making an incredible impact on a global scale – creating stadiums, power systems, communities and infrastructure around the world. But it’s the collaboration that exists here that truly sets our market apart,” said Ashley McDonald, managing director of KC Global Design at KCADC. “With more than 1,000 firms, connecting that innovation and expertise not only elevates the industry but the entire KC region, serving as a beacon for the most in-demand talent.”

Functioning as the Kansas City region’s sales and marketing team and serving as an essential resource for locating businesses and talent to the region, KCADC has been consistently recognized as a top economic development organization in the country by Development Counsellors International and Site Selection Magazine.

The Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) serves the 18-county, two-state Kansas City area by marketing the region's business and lifestyle assets to companies around the world. Working closely with its two states, and 50-plus county and community partners, the region has attracted more than 64,000 new jobs over its 45-plus-year history. Leading the efforts behind the KC Animal Health Corridor, KC SmartPort, TeamKC, KC Heartland and KC Global Design, KCADC’s clients consistently rank the organization as a top regional economic development group in the nation. | thinkKC.com

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