Leaders plan campaign to attract businesses to Orlando



ORLANDO, Fla. - A team of business leaders unveiled their strategy to lure new business to Orlando on Tuesday, and it involves convincing people around the world that if they see central Florida as all about tourism, then they're missing a big part of the picture.

Eyewitness News heard the detailed presentation on the branding campaign, and the business leaders who put it together think changing people's impressions of Orlando would bring more jobs to central Florida.

Their message to make it happen is, "Orlando, you don't know the half of it."

Almost everyone relates Walt Disney World and tourism with Orlando, but when experts asked business leaders, it became clear they knew very little about Orlando as a good place to make money.

"They simply don't know what is here. They know the tourism side, but they don't know the other side, and that's an important thing," said Ken Potrock of Walt Disney World.

The mission then is to convince the key decision-makers that Orlando is not just a great place to visit, but it is also a fantastic place to grow companies and create jobs, with a five-year marketing campaign that tells that other side of the story.

That message would appear in the airport, the Orange County Convention Center, and in business publications and television. Nearly $3 million in the first year, and about one-third of that is public money.

"That's the bottom line for us," said Potrock. "At the end of the day, there are many companies out there looking throughout the nation figuring out where they're going to relocate their companies or their expansions. And our goal quite simply is to get on the short list."

This topic comes back before the commission later this month. The question then will be how much public money should be invested.