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New London looks to market itself

New London — An authentic, gritty, blue-collar, socially and culturally diverse city with affordable waterfront housing and numerous entertainment venues and an art scene.

That’s how New London is described in a new rebranding effort and marketing campaign that includes a new website and nationally televised marketing video to air next week to highlight the city’s attributes.

The campaign, managed by the New London firm Quinn & Hary Marketing, is part of a renewed effort to promote business growth, economic development, tourism and community pride in the city. Part of the initiative will focus on marketing New London as an affordable option for families relocating because of the COVID-19 pandemic, investors looking for opportunities and tourists seeking unique experiences.

“We’re excited to begin marketing the city as a lively, authentic, culturally diverse destination,” Mayor Michael Passero said in a statement with the kickoff of the campaign. “I am thrilled at this opportunity to show everyone all that New London has to offer."

As a preview of the new initiative, the city will be featured in a New London-specific episode of "Behind the Scenes with Laurence Fishburne." The segment, shot in 2020, features Passero and New London resident Lonnie Braxton II. The video promises to raise awareness, on a national scale, of New London’s unique culture, opportunities and community.

The segment is scheduled to air on May 27 in major markets and on CNN’s Headline News. The three-minute version of the video is being distributed to Public Broadcasting Television affiliates across the country.

The campaign is being conducted in coordination with video partners Astor Place and ReelE Media. Other partners include Socialike, a social media agency, and consultant Dante Piacenza.

Piacenza, in an address to the City Council earlier this year, said more people are working remotely and New London stands out as a city with the amenities and affordability not attainable in a larger city.

Quinn & Hary, which is contracted for public relations work for the city, has partnered with the state Office of Economic and Community Development “to raise the profile of New London as a regional hub of experience and economic opportunity.”

Felix Reyes, director of the city's Office of Development and Planning, said the initiative “taps into all of the creative energy that is a big part of what makes New London stand out from other small to mid-sized cities in New England.”

The campaign, he said, helps to better define New London and show off its many attractions, which in turn will help visitors understand what it has to offer.

The initiative is funded with $100,000 from the city and $100,000 in matching grants. A matching $25,000 grant for tourism was awarded to the city from the Eastern Regional Tourism District. The city received a matching $75,000 from Thames River Innovation Place, an alliance of public, private and nonprofit sectors in Groton and New London.

A new website, visitNewLondon.org, features highlights of restaurants, local businesses, events and attractions like Ocean Beach Park. DevelopNewLondon.com also has been rebranded, with more examples of investment opportunities and a higher-profile social media presence.

g.smith@theday.com

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