Marion, ASU Mid-South working on marketing plan

Community wants to entice Big River Steel employees


Rainy weather has delayed the roll out of an ad campaign being designed by ASU Mid-South to lure Big River Steel employees to live in Marion.

Marion Advertising and Promotions Commissions is paying the university $25,000 to design brochures along with a website and video to tout the advantages of buying a home and living in Marion. Big River Steel recently started production at its $1.3 billion plant in Osceola and expects to employ about 525 workers at the plant at an average salary of $75,000.

The goal of the campaign is to highlight the advantages of living in a small city that is just minutes away from Memphis cultural attractions.

Marion is a little over 40 miles away from Osceola and just 12 from Memphis.

ASU Mid-South Marketing Director Diane Hampton said the team is still in the process of developing the art and the video.

“We got approval from A& P in mid-December and had hoped to have something for them after Christmas. But then the weather didn’t cooperate,” Hampton said. “We just had rain and rain and rain. It is hard to get pretty pictures when it is not pretty.”

The first phase of the campaign will be to distribute a brochure to the human resources department at Big River Steel and other hiring organizations to give to new employees.

The brochure will be a full color glamor piece with pictures of Marion that key in on the small town atmosphere, affordable cost of living, excellent schools, and access to a wide variety of cultural and recreational amenities.

The website will feature a video with photographs of Marion to give potential new residents a better sense of the character and personality of the community. ASU

Phase two of the marketing campaign will include billboards, television commercials, radio and print ads, and social media.

Hampton said they should have something to show the city by the end of the month.

“We are still working on it and hope to have things finished up by the end of February,” Hampton said.

By Mark Randall