Eiler Success Stories

Ann Arbor IT Zone

Client Background

The Ann Arbor IT Zone is a leading organization dedicated to the development of the state and regional information technology environment. The non-profit organization fosters and promotes the area's information technology industry by offering services to both established and emerging IT companies. Its educational series, Hi -Tech Tuesdays, IT Forums and Boot Camp, help attract, educate and retain the diverse talent required to accelerate the Ann Arbor area’s leadership position in information technology.

Situation

Founded in 1997 and operational since 2000, the IT Zone seeks to capitalize on Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County’s historic and growing role in the information technology industry. The county currently has over 400 IT companies and is viewed as the hub of small creative IT firms for the state. The industry currently employs over 9,000 individuals, making it a key element in the region’s highly diverse economy. The University of Michigan has a worldwide reputation for the quality of its information technology research program and graduates. Eastern Michigan University is also gaining recognition for the many economic development programs it runs.

Strategy

As a brand-new organization, the Ann Arbor IT Zone needed to make its spot in the market and overcome the challenges of a new company. It needed to gain members, find sponsors, position the group to reach the desired audience with the right messages, generate interest in the community and region and create media buzz.

Tactics

Eiler has been the Ann Arbor IT Zone’s public relations firm since inception. From the beginning, the comprehensive program included activities to gain exposure for the organization, attract members and sponsors, and create name recognition throughout Michigan. We also provided media advice and counsel. Eiler promoted events through press releases and media pitching. Eiler continues to utilize a press release series for all IT Zone programs and events. Through ties with other organizations, including Automation Alley, Eiler has helped the IT Zone sponsor joint events, bringing together members and creating networking opportunities. The Zone now has more than 200 members.

Results

Since its beginning, the Ann Arbor IT Zone has generated broad recognition, media attention and buzz across Michigan.  It receives regular press in statewide media including The Ann Arbor News, Great Lakes IT Report, Business Direct Weekly, “Crain’s Detroit Business, The Ann Arbor Business-To-Business, The Michigan Technology Report and and many radio stations.