by LISA CAPOBIANCO
The Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce is on the hunt for a full-time branding and market development manager in Bristol.
During a special meeting held last month, the City Council voted unanimously to approve an agreement between the City of Bristol and the chamber for marketing and branding services.
For those services, a branding manager will be hired. The manager, however, will be considered a chamber employee .
In this arrangement between the chamber and the city, the cost for the services will be $120,000 per year. The chamber and the city will contribute $60,000 each toward this $120,000.
The branding manager, when hired, will report to Jim Albert, president of the chamber. The new staffer will help coordinate marketing, image and economic development on behalf of the chamber and the city. Besides developing and implementing a marketing strategy to identify and reach target audiences, and creating various print and multimedia products such as social media messaging and newsletters, the branding manager also will build and coordinate chamber and community outreach events and produce business development programs and materials.
Albert said he feels excited to move forward with a process that has been in development for the past several years. Before Albert began serving as president, the chamber and the city hired North Star Destination Strategies to conduct a study on how to brand and market Bristol. Over the summer, the Mayor’s Marketing Task Force presented a report conducted by North Star, which examined the ways in which Bristol could brand itself. After extensive research, North Star helped Bristol develop the “All-Heart” logo, which the chamber has promoted through various merchandise such as hats and shirts during community events.
“This is a continuation of that process,” said Albert. “Now we’re hoping to implement a lot of the suggestions [from the report].”
Mayor Ken Cockayne said the process began when he was serving the City Council, and feels proud to see it move forward.
“It’s good, now as mayor, to see something come to fruition that was started as a councilman brought forward by [former] Mayor Ward,” said Cockayne. “It’s going to get all of the marketing and branding on the same page between the chamber and the city of Bristol.”
The brand manager position will be a full-time position with salary and benefits. The position will be part of the Chamber of Commerce workforce. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in marketing, communications, public relations, business or other related field and three years of high level experience in product management, marketing, product delivery, or business/account relations. Albert said once all resumes are submitted, the search will be narrowed down to 10 to 12 candidates for interviews. A six-person team will conduct the interview process, including three representatives of the city and three representatives of the chamber. At least three people from that team will be present during an interview. He hopes to hire a brand manager by the end of September, just in time for the Mum Festival.
Albert said the ideal candidate would be a self-motivated and energetic individual who thinks outside the box. He also said an ideal candidate must be familiar with Bristol society while knowing its culture and history.
“We’re open to a larger, regional draw, but whoever it is can’t be cold as far as their knowledge of Bristol,” said Albert, adding that an ideal candidate also has an understanding of Generation Y.
“Bristol is such a strong, passionate all-heart area that if you don’t really understand the history of it, you’ll have a difficult time actually focusing a branding/marketing strategy for it.”
Albert added another goal of the new job position is to market or brand Bristol to the citizens of Bristol, said Albert, adding how a brand manager could help promote events and activities that happen in the community.
“The vast majority of the people in Bristol are still very positive about this community, and we just need to focus [on that],” said Albert. “We just need to communicate.”
Primary duties and responsibilities of the job include establishing marketing and branding goals, communicating and working with chamber and city staff as well as outside advertising agencies on required projects and campaigns, and serving as consultant to the chamber and city to deliver effective branding and marketing solutions Other duties include assisting with the development of marketing, advertising and promotions budgets as well as representing Bristol and the chamber at different community events/meetings while making presentations, speeches and written reports.
“As [the branding manager] comes on board, their task is going to be to market Bristol as a place to live, work, play,” said Albert, adding that opportunities for business growth and jobs also fall under the marketing umbrella for Bristol. “We’re going to be promoting the city as a quality of life, as an entity, as well as the business community opportunities.”
“We’re all going to be on the same page and put out the same message—that we’re business friendly, and we want to attract businesses to town, grow the city in a positive way to make it a friendly place to work and play,” said Cockayne.
“We are looking for some people with experience and with a lot of fire,” said Albert, adding that surrounding towns of Bristol have already developed a marketing program. “We’re in a very competitive market.”
For more information about this position, call Jim Albert at (860) 584-4720 or e-mail him at J.Albert@CentralCTChambers.org. For more information about the chamber, go to CentralCTChambers.org