Crowdsourcing & Crowdfunding Platform Rally Saint Louis Recognized By International Place Marketing Forum

By September 19, 2013

The Place Marketing Forum, an annual international conference hosted by the Regional Attractiveness & Place Marketing Chair at Sciences Po Aix University, has recognized Rally Saint Louis, the first-of-its-kind crowdsourced and crowdfunded regional marketing platform, for best practices in regional marketing and citizen engagement.

The only U.S.-based endeavor recognized by the Place Marketing Chair in 2013, Rally Saint Louis was cited as “Best Case” in the category of “New Place Marketing & Citizenship.” Co-founders Aaron Perlut and Brian Cross, partners in St. Louis-based digital marketing and public relations agency Elasticity, will present a case study at the international Place Marketing Forum October 14-15 in the Congress Center of Aix-en Provence, Southern France.

“We are honored that the Place Marketing Forum has recognized Rally Saint Louis and hope this shines a brighter light on the grassroots transformation that is underway in the St. Louis region,” said Perlut about Rally Saint Louis, which launched in November 2012 as a crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platform that allows consumers to submit, vote for, and help fund ideas that drive progress in greater St. Louis and has successfully funded four diverse citizen-driven regional improvement projects.

The Place Marketing Forum is the first international conference that presents, shares and rewards best regional marketing practices worldwide. It features, during two days, some 30 French and international thought leaders as well as more than 300 professionals from public, private and not-for-profit organizations committed to advancing knowledge in the area of regional development and place marketing.

“Rally Saint-Louis stood out of the crowd for its unique combination of creativity, story-telling, social media and e-participatory techniques — crowdsourcing and crowdfounding,” said David Aboulkheir, chief of the chair’s expert committee. “We also very much liked its mixed bottom-up/top-down approach, aimed at developing and boosting the image of a whole city. We believe it is an exemplary and pioneer approach that could inspire other places in the world.”

Based on the findings of an extensive benchmark research and a set of excellence criterions, 10 remarkable programs in Europe and North America were shortlisted, among hundreds, to be showcased and awarded at this major international event. The best practices address key regional attractiveness sectors including economic, residential and touristic attractiveness, cultural, sport and business great events, M-I-C-E, urban regeneration projects; as well as key place marketing task areas such as structuring and qualifying the offer, governance, branding and communication, global strategy, e-marketing, promotion, coordination of actors and citizenship.

Other “Best Case” examples include:

Berlin Business Location Center (Germany)

The Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation (Spain)

The OnlyLyon branding program (Lyon),

The “Bilbao effect”(Spain)

The Vendée Globe Sailing race (France)

A journey to Nantes (France)

Goteborg & Co (Sweden)

Gamecity-Hamburg (Germany)