Port hears update from KEDA official

Marketing and public outreach efforts by the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), including a new website design and attending numerous trade shows, are among the activities KEDA has completed in the past months.

That was the message John Powers, executive director of KEDA, gave the Port of Bremerton board of commissioners at a meeting last week.

Powers said the work that KEDA does is always done keeping in mind the need to market port properties.

“Our focus is on our assets,” Powers said. “We’re getting very good traction for our efforts.”

Powers gives the port quarterly updates on the work of KEDA because the port helps to fund the organization, which works to bring business and industry to Kitsap County.

Specifically, the port has asked KEDA to work to bring aerospace-related and other business to its industrial park. That work also is done through the Kitsap Aerospace and Defense Alliance (KADA), another group that promotes aerospace and defense work in the county.

Powers said KEDA had set a goal for 2013 to reach out to at least 50 targeted companies, letting them know what Kitsap County has to offer.

“In 2013, we were in contact with 97 companies,” he said. “Additionally we were at six trade shows in the regions and attended the Paris Air Show along with representatives of the port, and from that alone we developed five leads which we are pursuing.”

He said KEDA is working with the city of Bremerton and port staff to put together a presentation about the availability of transportation via water, rail and air in the Kitsap County area. He’s expecting to use that presentation in the future, he said.

This year KEDA has focused on increasing its marketing on social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pininterest, Vimeo and YouTube. Keda has a portfolio of about a dozen short videos which it uses when recruiting companies to the area and those highlight reasons to live in Kitsap County, including recreational activities, medical services and schools.

A major revision of the KEDA website was completed in January and was launched at the Decision Makers breakfast last week.

“Our website is the most important part of our social media work,” he said.

In 2013, KEDA was a participant in the Global Entrepreneurship Week and was invited to do so by the Washington Department of Commerce, Powers said.

In the coming months, KEDA plans to partner with other groups in Kitsap County to continue its work. KEDA will offer more workshops to business partners including one on social media for defense related businesses.

In 2013, KEDA assisted 48 Bremerton and 16 Silverdale businesses with marketing. In total, KEDA assisted more than 100 throughout the county, he said.

Port Commissioner Chairman Roger Zabinski congratulated Powers and KEDA on its work.

“Both the efforts of KEDA and KADA are great,” he said. “I feel we’re getting our money’s worth.”


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