My favourite investment promotion video at the moment is one from eastern Poland. It shows a disapproving therapist, while the voiceover says: "What will you say when your psychotherapist asks 'why didn't you invest in eastern Poland?'" (see

Videos are a great way for locations to tell their story and show what they can offer. Short (less than two minutes), sharp (clever and clear messaging) films can grab the attention and encourage the viewer to find out more. These days, if a location doesn’t have its own channel on YouTube, it is not telling its story hard enough. Granted, fast-cut visuals, dramatic drums and authoritative voiceovers may be clichéd, but a little innovation can go a long way. The old adage of 'show, don’t tell' is spot on for place marketing and locations can use the latest low-cost digital media to engage effectively with businesses.


The short video is just one of several digital marketing tools used by government agencies to sell their locations. However, as their marketing consultants excite them with talk of 'multi-platform campaigns' and 'trans-media storytelling', I would caution that investment promotion agencies first need to get the basics right. They need to have a website that as well as selling to us, gives us lots of useful, up-to-date information and contacts for further information. Location decisions are all about the numbers and decision-makers need to get easy and quick access to the essential statistics.

They also should make sure that any article about their location in Wikipedia is totally on-message and chock full of interesting facts, figures and pictures. I am giving away a big location consultant secret, but we do sometimes have a quick look at what Wikipedia has to say about places we are interested in.

So, if the therapist asks: “Why didn’t you invest in…”, you can perhaps blame it on the location’s lack of attention to the digital marketing essentials.

Douglas Clark is director of Location Connections, a site selection and FDI consultancy. Email: