Editor's note: Each month, City Administrator Aaron Burnett writes an update on city business for the mayor and city council. In order to invigorate engagement and involvement with local government, we'll reprint his report here.
Mayor and City Council Members,
One of the City Council’s priorities this year was to increase branding and marketing of Mason City and this priority is also closely aligned with several other community organizations.
The city is actively pursuing several designations and awards to highlight the important achievements and qualities of our community. These activities will help market Mason City to potential visitors and residents locally and across the country. While many people are aware of our great amenities like our numerous parks and trails, it is often not widely known to the workers being recruited to our community for high need fields or young families looking to return to Iowa.
The high quality of life and low cost of living are too often a secret.
To achieve the goal of improving our marketing efforts, Main Street Mason City, the North Iowa Corridor, Visit Mason City, the Mason City Chamber of Commerce and the City of Mason City are meeting to coordinate materials, messaging, video production, and timing to ensure the biggest impact is produced by the resources expended. All of these entities have some manner of marketing via social media, video and print. A few examples of these efforts are the new “This Is North Iowa” campaign, video production by Travel Iowa and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and social media advertising.
The largest portion of these marketing efforts is the “This is North Iowa” campaign which is part of the Vision North Iowa plan. This campaign will be cobranded with the State’s “This is Iowa” campaign and is already producing content and a webpage to guide visitors and potential residents to the amenities of our region. The marketing will be a combination of static advertising, social media advertising, online video ads, and other ads. More information will be provided as this effort continues to take shape, but it could not come at a better time with the exciting news and progress in the region.
Another recent effort of the City to strengthen its brand was the application to receive the Bike Friendly Community designation from the League of American Bicyclists. If selected, Mason City would join a small group of cities in Iowa that has completed enough improvements, education and support networks for bicycling to earn this honor. This application was made possible through the efforts of avid bicyclists in the community and research by multiple city departments.
These types of efforts can continue to provide insight to the next steps the community can take to build a reputation for great outdoor recreation beyond the existing draw for architecture and Meredith Willson.
While all of these efforts are important, it is also important to mention that progress continues on multiple construction projects in the community like the Talon Apartment Complex, Kraft-Heinz’s expansion, Golden Grain’s expansion, the new Discount Tire, the Tommy Car Wash, the new KwikStar, and many other smaller commercial and industrial renovations. This list will continue to grow this year with new projects that are in design and it will be important to continue to tell our story and communicate to Mason City, the Midwest and across the country that Mason City is a great place to live and is a great place for business.
As a community we have much to offer, but we cannot continue to let it be a secret and those efforts start with the city and our community partners.
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Heartwarming stories of this year so far
Needing some uplifting news? Take a look at some of this year's most heartwarming stories so far:
It was a wedding the likes of which no one in Mason City has seen before.
For those looking for comfort and companionship while social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Humane Society of North Iowa may hav…
I've been watching various Facebook groups and there's a common theme here in North Iowa: People need help and others are stepping up.
Good Shepherd staffers found a creative way for their residents to communicate with their loved ones.
On a seemingly average weekday, 71-year-old Gary Hanson’s workout at the Mason City Family YMCA began like any other.
Laura Baumann and her husband, John, were all smiles Friday morning.
Christmas spirit at the Nora Springs Care Center is still going strong — thanks to the generosity of a group of donors.
It took less than 24 hours for the community to lift up a Mason City family.
Mason City basketball fans will always remember the Meyer sisters.
The Mohawk Bakery in Mason City High School has seen a few changes this year.
Aaron Burnett is Mason City's city administrator.