Kentucky Economic Development Branding and Marketing Strategy

The City of Covington, Kentucky (“City”) invites proposals from qualified, competent, knowledgeable, and experienced providers that provide the goods and/or services outlined in this Request for Proposal (“RFP”), in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures. C

Covington, KY, a city of 42,000 residents is in the midst of a resurgence with 2,100 new jobs and $85.6 million in capital investment in 2020. In the same year, the City purchased the vacant 23-acre former IRS processing site along the riverfront. Situated in the urban core of Covington, across the river from downtown Cincinnati, an east coast land developer called it “the most exciting land redevelopment opportunity between Baltimore and New Orleans”. 

Moreover, Mayor Meyer cited it as a once in a generation opportunity to shape downtown Covington for decades. In addition, the City retained Garner Economics LLC in December, 2018, to create a long-term economic development strategy to propel the growth and sustainability of the City. A key recommendation is to communicate the brand and the message, i.e., “Telling the Covington story” to key target audiences- developers, business, and talent. The most recent brand developed in 2014, the capital C with various applications of the hand is no longer used because it “…has failed to create a positive impression” per the Garner report. The hashtag, #lovethecov, organically surfaced to become a recognized symbol for Covington and will be featured on the new rendition of the City’s website to be released in the upcoming months. Lastly, roughly 50% of the city’s budget is derived from payroll tax. The city doesn’t receive sales tax or income tax. Attracting new business and retaining existing businesses will grow the City’s revenue base to provide the necessary and beneficial services to its residents and visitors.

Scope of Work:

C. Project Deliverables – Telling Covington’s Story

1. Define a distinctive brand identity that embrace’s the City’s unique character and

creates a sense of place that is targeted to developers, business, and talent. The

brand identity is expressed but not limited to a brand promise, logo, tagline, value

statements, style guide and other recommended deployment guidelines.

a. Present 3 different concepts

b. In discovery process, reach out to at least three groups: elected and

appointed officials, business leaders, and the community at large.

2. Recommend and design an organizational framework for the Economic


Development Department’s section of the city’s website AND/OR recommend to

create a stand-alone portal that offers information and resources needed for

developers, site selectors/commercial brokers, C-Suite, or entrepreneurs.

3. Recommend strategies to increase Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

4. Create concepts/templates for web-based collateral materials for small business

program (note page 13), incentives, and targeted business industry sectors

identified in the Garner report as:

a. “All Things Office” and New-Collar Jobs

b. “A Heathier You”- life and bioscience companies

c. “Made in The Cov”- micro-manufacturing and process technology


d. “Experiencing Covington” – Experiential and the Entrepreneurial Economy

5. Craft key messages positioning Covington as a desired business location to the

four target industries identified in the Garner report as stated above. Develop

communications strategies designed to be used across multiple communications

platforms and provide recommendations for specific platforms and messages in

the implementation strategy.

6. Provide a detailed implementation strategy to include priorities, timelines,

estimated costs, persons or groups responsible, anticipated results and

demonstrated connections to the strategic recommendations from scope items 1-

6 above.

D. Challenges

1. Updating impressions and the new vibe of Covington to Greater Cincinnati area

business leaders and talent pool.

2. Positioning Covington as its own city and a key player in the Greater

Cincinnati/NKY region.

3. Distinguishing Covington from Newport, Ludlow, etc. We find some people in

Cincinnati lump NKY all together and some people think NKY is all Covington.

4. Talent Attraction

E. Competition

Cincinnati neighborhoods; Over the Rhine (OTR) and Blue Ash

F. Budget: Maximum, $100,000

Due Date:  10:00 a.m., Monday, September 27th, 2021


1st Floor Finance Window Finance Department City Hall 20 West Pike Street Covington, KY 41011

Makovsky PR and Coyne PR are relevant agencies.

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