A small eastern Iowa town that’s about a half-hour’s drive north of Cedar Rapids is buying television advertising time promoting its school system. Central City has about 1,300 residents with school enrollment is 430 students. Central City’s Main Street Promotions director, Julie Renberg, says the advertising campaign promotes the small class size and is not just recruiting students — it’s going after entire families.
“And the best place we thought to start that, trying to get new residents to town, is tell them how awesome our school district is and to try to encourage new residents that are young families,” Renberg says. Central City –one of 48-communities getting advice from Iowa’s Economic Development Main Street Iowa program — is investing $70,000 in the advertising.
“Yes, it is very costly. That’s not any truth you can dance around,” according to Renberg. “If the school district grows, we’re growing, so we’re all in this together.” The money for the advertising comes from the city’s economic development TIF funds with the hopes for long-range pay-offs.