City of Salinas, California

City of Salinas, California

About DCI's Place Brand of the Year 

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In 2012, Salinas, California (population 157,218), was reeling from the loss of 850+ jobs when one of the city’s largest employers closed its doors. In the wake of this crisis, city leaders developed a plan to leverage Salinas’ proximity to Silicon Valley and its $8 billion agriculture industry to create an AgTech Innovation Ecosystem that drives innovation, supports entrepreneurship and ultimately creates more high-tech jobs. While Salinas had long been known as the “salad bowl of the world,” the largely low-income farming region was not known for technology, and much of its media coverage centered on crime and negative issues. Salinas began working with place marketing firm DCI to help the city brand and market itself for agtech and began implementing a brand strategy in 2013. The first three years of implementation focused heavily on garnering positive press around Salinas’ agtech initiative and generated tremendous results. DCI and the city pitched Forbes Media on holding an agtech summit in Salinas, and landed the first Forbes AgTech Summit in 2015. It has become an annual event that has put the city on the map for agtech. In 2017, the city saw two new challenges that needed to be addressed - fresh angles to continue the PR momentum and establish one-stop-shop online to showcase all of the components of Salinas’ agtech ecosystem.

The Place Brand Portfolio is City Nation Place's searchable portfolio of Awards case studies from the past five years.