Sybil Topel, VP, Marketing and Communications, Chattanooga Chamber
UPDATE: USA Today ranks Chattanooga No. 10 for job growth in 2020. You can read the full article here.
PCMag created its list of best WFH cities based on places with affordable housing, fast gigabit, reasonably priced internet connections and remote-work-friendly lifestyles.
Remote Workers Wanted: Behind the Scenes of a National PR Campaign
When Chattanooga and Hamilton County make national headlines – in a good way – it’s most likely that the article or broadcast story idea came from someone right here in Chattanooga. Recently several national publications have focused on Chattanooga as an excellent choice for remote workers. And that takes a lot of work behind the scenes.
It takes all of our Hamilton County and Chattanooga residents to make a great impression. Word of mouth based on facts remains the most credible way to reach people. As a public relations professional I can promote all the positive messages possible about Chattanooga I’d like, but it’s real only when someone who lives here is as proud as we are of our region and tells great stories about why they live here.
We’re counting on Joe at the coffee shop, who wants to encourage his brother the cyber security expert to move here and work remotely. (Joe’s brother: We have your phone number and yes, we’re ChattanoogaCalling.com you now.)
We’re counting on area natives who stay here and start their own businesses to tell their stories. Like LaShon Carter and her affordable childcare facility focused on educational readiness – Tiny Tigers Learning Center. And folks like Felicia Jackson whose company CPR Wrap saves lives (she graduated from UT-Chattanooga). And, the work of nonprofits like ArtsBuild and SoundCorps, which advance artists, musicians and so much more, enriching our lives through sculpture, live performances, literary works and visual arts. (Or for-profit startups taking us back to disco days – I see you Adrienne Cooper at Moonlight Roller and I’m thinking about those skates.)
Any hard-working musician in Hamilton County/Chattanooga can tell you their ‘overnight successes’ took decades. Same here. National and international headlines like the ones in Forbes and PC Magazine took decades of creative work by a highly talented group of professional public relations and economic development folks, working together with Hamilton County, the City of Chattanooga and deeply committed volunteer leaders. But our messages don’t mean a thing unless real people are as proud – if not prouder – than we are about where we live.
The Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce counts on a number of resident-led committees to achieve big goals telling our story. This includes our:
- Finance Committee
- Chattanooga Manager of the Year Committee
- Small Business and Chamber Awards Committees
- Membership & Investor Relations Committee
- Talent Committee
- Future Ready Institute Industry Council
- Communications Committee which amplifies the work of more than 20 PR professionals from the Sasha Group, Izell Marketing Group, Chattanooga State, UTC, VW, EPB, Lodge Industries, the City and County, and many others.
We’re so fortunate that our nearly 2,000 members delight in telling positive stories about business in Chattanooga. Talking about our skills development programs, support for startups, incredible natural beauty and hikes only 10 minutes from downtown.
Seven years ago I moved here to work at the Chattanooga Chamber, after living many years in Nashville and a few years in Atlanta. My Mother, my son, his wonderful girlfriend, they all joined us. It’s one of the best career and lifestyle decisions of my life and I hope they are as happy as I am with where we live now.
As for our future ‘overnight success,’ we’re telling the story about how easy it is to work remotely here. ‘Come visit, we know you’ll want to stay.’ This collaboration of the Chattanooga Tourism Co. and the Chattanooga Chamber holds great promise. So, we invite you to help us recruit some folks to visit and stay in Chattanooga.