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OBPA moves ahead with bridge marketing plan

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The Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge could be rebranded as part of a new marketing initiative.

OBPA board members have hired the McLellan Multimedia Group Corp., Toronto, Ontario, to market the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge to hauling companies as a way to increase truck traffic.

Marketing would be centered in Montreal, Canada’s second largest city and a hub for manufacturing. Marketers say the initiative would give the OBPA a significant edge over its competition, the Thousand Island Bridge Authority in Alexandria Bay.

“We need to change the public’s perception,” OBPA Chairman Samuel J. LaMacchia said Wednesday. “I think that is an important element of this and what needs to take place here.”

McLellan’s marketers pitched a proposal to OBPA board members Wednesday. Using direct mail, web banners, radio ads, video contests, and social media, the marketing firm hopes to draw Canadian haulers, marketing manager Doug McLellan said.

The McLellan Group is no stranger to St. Lawrence River. The firm is currently working on RiverQuest, an initiative to draw people to different attractions along the St. Lawrence.

“The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority is not a very engaging name and doesn’t illicit imagination,” Mr. McLellan said. “There is a great story and history of the bridge, but it is just not packaged well.”

The OBPA has hired the group on an initial basis for $19,830. If the project is successful, the OBPA would consider expanding its marketing campaign to include other areas, including the airport.

“I agree with their proposal,” said John A. Rishe, director of commercial and industrial development. “I think it can be effective and I look forward to seeing how things go.”

The McLellan Group was one of two bidders for the marketing work.

“They definitely have the accolades to back what they can do,” Mr. LaMacchia said. “And they are local enough that we can meet with them personally. I think we’re off to a good start.”

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