In the summer of 2018, the city of Norwalk – situated in the Des Moines/West Des Moines region – achieved a notable accomplishment. With the addition of two new major companies, Norwalk was the first Iowa community to reach full business capacity under the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Certified Site program. Established in 2012, the initiative was designed by state leaders to encourage development and take the hassle out of the site selection process. Under this program, potential cities are vetted and approved by the IEDA, thus providing companies the confidence they need to build new facilities in Iowa.
Norwalk city leaders wanted to promote this notable achievement and trusted LS2group public relations expertise to spread the word and build interest for this growing Iowa community. LS2group developed media materials, pitched media, and staffed the groundbreaking event to assist with media. After the event, LS2group pitched an economic advancement story to publications in the Des Moines metro. Multiple stories were secured, including in the Des Moines Register and the Des Moines Business Record.
In addition to publicizing Norwalk’s Certified Sites distinction, LS2group partnered with Norwalk to host military officials from Vushtrri, Kosovo to expand the cities’ partnership and establish global trade relations in the regions. The Iowa National Guard established good relations in Vushtrri after NATO operations in the late 1990s left more than 80 percent of the city destroyed. This positive alliance between Kosovo and the Iowa National Guard led to the opening of the Kosovo Embassy in Des Moines in 2016 and the birth of the Sister Cities Program.
LS2group served as the public relations team for the City of Norwalk during the sister city visit. Prior to the visit, the team promoted the events through radio interviews with WHO Radio and Radio Iowa. During the weeklong visit, LS2group pitched and staffed broadcast interviews that featured the mayors from Norwalk and Vushtrri, Kosovo and gained TV coverage throughout the week. LS2group also assisted with the city’s social media efforts, taking photos and drafting posts while the delegation was in Iowa. After the visit, LS2group pitched the story to print news and obtained multiple stories in newspapers and an opinion piece authored by the Mayor of Norwalk on the importance of the international sister city relationship.