Marketing a Tech City: How a Cat Video Changed Everything. Because the city wants to spur even more technology investment, they hired Peter Tokar as their first economic development director in May 2012. And a lightbulb went off in my head. Could we use video and social media to tell Alpharetta’s story?” Alpharetta360.com is the first “videos only” website launched by a city. The site features a collection of 60-90 second video segments which promote the emergence of the city as a location for technology companies. The city teamed with Crisp Video Group, an Atlanta-based video production company, to produce and promote 36 high-quality stories over the course of a year. The program is still in its first year. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube traffic has grown steadily as well. None of the video segments released on Alpharetta360.com have reached 3.8 million views just yet. Of course, that may change if Peter Tokar figures out how to feature an adorable cat in his next video.
Over the past two decades, Alpharetta, Georgia, a city that is 25 miles from downtown Atlanta, has been transformed from a sleepy agricultural community to a magnet for technology companies. More than 600 tech firms – including McKesson Information Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, E-Trade and Equifax – have flocked to Alpharetta.
Because the city wants to spur even more technology investment, they hired Peter Tokar as their first economic development director in May 2012.
“Shortly after I started the job, our mayor tasked me with gaining exposure for the city as a technology location as quickly as possible. We had the usual brochures and an economic development website – the same as every other city in the Southeast. Nothing about it was unique,” according to Mr. Tokar.
“That night I went home and started looking through my Facebook feed and found myself mesmerized by a video of cat fighting Darth Vader. It had over 3.8 million views. And a lightbulb went off in my head. Could we use video and social media to tell Alpharetta’s story?”