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Downtown Carlisle Association remaking brand, services

The Downtown Carlisle Association (DCA) unveiled a new
strategy this morning to deepen its relationship with downtown businesses and
help draw more people into Carlisle through
events.

The Downtown Carlisle Association (DCA) unveiled a new
strategy this morning to deepen its relationship with downtown businesses and
help draw more people into Carlisle through
events.

That strategy will include a focus on events to attract people downtown and more services aimed
at helping businesses market themselves, said Glenn White, DCA’s newly
appointed Main Street manager. DCA also has changed its logo as part of its new marketing strategy.

“We need to come up with a way to say the past is the past,
and we’re moving on,” White said.

Lack of communication from DCA and a need for better
marketing were top complaints in a recent survey the group conducted with
business owners. Those are being changed immediately, White said.

DCA wants to add annual events such as a rib cook-off, music
festival, crab festivals, sidewalk sales, arts walks and lunchtime concerts to
attract people, White said. Events would be targeted to specific audiences at
points during the year. Better corporate sponsorships and partnerships also would
help market events, he said.

Other marketing initiatives would include:

  • Web
    site redesign, optimization and analysis
  • introduction
    of event-specific Web sites
  • neighborhood
    branding, such as West
    Pomfret Street as an arts district
  • in-house
    advertising.

“If I can get people here once, that’s my job,” White said
to business owners. “Your job is to get them here twice, three times. I need
your help with this.”

Services and communication to businesses also will increase
in coming months, White said. DCA is working on two newsletters for online and
print, as well as weekly online surveys to receive input from business owners.
The association also wants to hold quarterly networking and discussion events
for downtown businesses, he said.

The DCA also plans to add other services for downtown
businesses including Web site hosting, e-mail and domain names, seminars,
roundtables and mentoring programs.

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