Lilly Endowment Grant Will Help Indy Chamber Lead Regional Talent and Image Marketing Initiative

(INDIANAPOLIS) – A $2.8 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to the Indy Chamber Foundation will support the five-year Project Amplify initiative, a digital first step for potential residents to “see themselves” in the Indianapolis region. This initiative will create the lifestyle blog, as well as a regional image marketing library of video content, photography, and other creative assets. These two platforms will outline neighborhoods, educational options, career opportunities, arts and culture, entertainment options, and other aspects that comprise Indy’s quality of life.

“With changing work and leisure patterns as a result of the pandemic causing talented individuals across the globe to evaluate their life trajectories, it could not be more important for Indy to drive interest and opportunity,” said Michael Huber, President and CEO of the Indy Chamber. “This grant from Lilly Endowment serves as a catalyst, facilitating the creation of a search-driven, collaborative storytelling platform to raise the profile of our community.”

Previous market research suggests that individuals without a personal or professional connection to Indianapolis have a generally neutral perception of the region, underscoring the need for an online destination built intentionally to attract outside talent and arm current residents with sharable content to amplify Indy’s unique stories. 

“We hear regularly about the need to entice more people, especially those with high-demand skills, to move to Indianapolis,” said Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development.  “We are optimistic that this collaborative project led by Indy Chamber will help more people discover that the Indianapolis region is an appealing place to work and live.”

The following guiding principles will help Indy Chamber distinguish this project from comparable efforts in other metropolitan areas:

  • Audiences deserve to find information they need, and not merely what local promoters want to give them
  • Varied perspectives are crucial to telling an authentic story about our community.

“Access to talent continues to be the number one issue for businesses as they seek to grow and thrive,” mentioned Karin Sarratt, Executive Vice President of OneAmerica. “Job seekers want to know what their experience will be in a new location, and arming employers and the broader community with resources to paint this picture is critical to success.”

The Indy Chamber’s director of marketing and communications Joe Pellman will step away from his current role to become executive director of regional image marketing to lead Project Amplify. The Indy Chamber plans to fill its marketing and communications leadership position in the coming weeks.

“The Indy experience isn’t a singular marketing slogan; it’s all our people, places, and activities coming together to create unique memories and moments for everyone,” notes Pellman. “This storytelling vehicle will amplify our region’s hidden gems and underserved storylines to larger audiences.”

The Project Amplify initiative will be executed by the Indy Chamber in partnership with local creative agency INNOVATIVE and in consultation with Liz Huldin, the founder of Catalytic Talent and facilitator of the Talent Summit, a collaborative of human resources and recruiting professionals across the Indy region. It is advised by a group of marketing and communications professionals from regional business and civic organizations known as the Story Board, as well as the Indy Chamber’s Regional Strategy Council.

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