ConnectIreland: Investment Attraction & Lead Generation 2.0

It was only question of time before an innovative economic development agency used the social web for a more aggressive form of investment attraction for job creation. Last week, Intelegia learned about ConnectIreland, a strategic initiative aimed to create at least 5,000 jobs in Ireland over the next five years.  The approach is pretty simple.

The objective of the crowdsourcing initiative is to attract small businesses that are looking to expand.  As a part of the leads generation process, IDA Ireland Investment Promotion Agency is asking anyone to use their network to identify growing companies that have an interest in taking advantage of the business climate in Ireland.  To become familiar on how the initiative works, please take a look at the following YouTube clip.

In short, the program is designed to:

  • Prompt people to look within their respective networks (i.e., business contacts, friends and family) to identify small businesses that are looking to expand.
  • Place the small businesses in contact with the Ireland Investment Promotion Agency to start the qualification process of getting the business in Ireland to expand and create jobs.
  • Put the referred business in a position to to expand in Ireland. €1,500 is awarded for each job that is created to the individual  that suggested the prospect. The sum of money is paid by that company over a three year period, subject to a minimum of €4,500 if 3 jobs are created and a maximum of €150,000 if 100 jobs or more are created.  The amount of money can be paid directly to the individual or to his or her preferred charity.

To promote the initiative, the agency is using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.  Below is a YouTube clip where there are testimonials from the following celebrities:

  • Martin Sheen
  • Michael Flatley
  • Saoirse Ronan

Intelegia had the opportunity to pose questions to ConnectLreland’s, CEO Michael McLoughlin to gain further insights regarding the initiative.  Below are the questions and replies that we received via email:

  • How long did it take to execute the plan for the initiative (i.e. from idea conception to putting the site online)?
    Upon appointment of consultants, ConnectIreland, by IDA Ireland we had a website and CRM system fully operational within 2 months. The aim of ConnectIreland is to extend the reach and capabilities of IDA Ireland by looking at smaller to medium sized overseas companies who are considering international expansion.
  • What are the challenges do you foresee regarding ConnectIreland and what are the plans to overcome them?
    The key challenge is spreading the message of ConnectIreland globally. We have initiated a global marketing campaign primarily focused on North America. Supporting our website, which has been translated into a number of languages, we have a number of social media channels and plan to run a number of events globally.
  • What “words of wisdom” would you have for an IPA agency that is considering a similar social web approach to job creation?
    Engagement is key – using the power of Diaspora and building a robust CRM system to harness these connections.
  • Are there any plans  to promote the initiative internationally and how will it be done besides using social media?
    ConnectIreland has a team of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) Professionals who deal with companies overseas by attending high profile business events that attract a diverse audience.

Have you started your investment attraction strategy via social media and need help?   Connect with Isabelle Poirier to talk over and enhance your social web strategy.

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About Intelegia

Intelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in a business landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.

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