Case Study

Economic Development Marketing: Charleston, SC as the “Economic Engine Of The South”

Economic Development


Charleston sought to be known for more than its tourist attractions and southern charm.

In the mid-nineties, Charleston’s navy base closed—22,000 jobs were lost overnight and unemployment spiked from 2.6% to 7.1%. The Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) was formed to diversify the region’s economy and execute a concerted marketing effort to tell the world why Charleston is a globally competitive destination for top companies and talent.  Today, Charleston is among the nation’s fastest-growing economies and home to major operations for industry leaders like Boeing, Google, Daimler and most recently, Volvo.

Services Provided


DCI worked with the CRDA for more than a decade to place positive stories spotlighting the region’s economic growth, diverse industries and assets for major companies and entrepreneurs in top outlets that reach decision-making executives.

In addition to reaching executives, DCI developed a digital strategy to support the region’s talent attraction initiative, Charleston Open Source, and launched a Digital Ambassadors program to promote the estimated 25,000+ new tech jobs coming to the area.

Growth in both the tech and manufacturing industries is drawing a young, affluent crowd to Charleston, S.C., looking for a piece of the piazza. Thanks to the growth of the city’s tech sector and 12 nonstop flights to New York City a day, young professionals are trading in the colder climates of the Northeast to live and work in Charleston full time. The Wall Street Journal


During the past decade, DCI has secured hundreds of placements on Charleston’s business climate, including feature stories in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fast Company and USA Today.

In addition, DCI has supported the Charleston Open Source tech talent attraction initiative, with a “Digital Ambassadors” program designed to share the positive news from Charleston’s tech scene with local advocates on social media and digital strategies to target, interact with and recruit technology professionals.

300+ Million Impressions in One Year
3 Feature Stories in the Wall Street Journal
10:1 ROI from One Press Trip

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