JPW writing wins international award for outstanding economic development reporting

The International Economic Development Council —the world’s largest organization of its kind—has honored one of JPW Communication’s (JPW) content campaigns with a prestigious award for exceptional economic development reporting it did on behalf of the City of San Marcos (City).

JPW worked with the City to produce 17 economic development news articles written to broaden awareness of the City’s economic development success. To date, the campaign has earned more than 40 media placements. And according to City data, the articles have averaged a social media engagement rate of more than 30%—well above the 9% rate government agencies typically see, according to Sprout Social.

“The data tells us these stories are not only reaching the right audiences, they’re also resonating,” said Economic Development Manager Tess Sangster, who formally accepted the award on Oct. 15 during IEDC’s annual conference in Indianapolis, IN.

IEDC's awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, and this year’s competition drew more than 400 submissions from 12 countries.

“The recipients of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day,” said 2019 IEDC Board Chair, Tracy McDaniel. “We’re honored to recognize more than 100 communities for their excellent work.”

Specifically, the campaign was lauded for its creativity, going beyond the standard press release and leveraging the City’s communication channels as its own personal news bureau to report economic development news. For example, one article shared new data to spotlight how the manufacturing industry is booming in San Marcos. Another article explored how the local food and beverage scene is gaining steam, which was also backed with relevant data.

“By working with JPW to tell our own story in a credible and engaging way, we’ve established San Marcos as not only a great place to live, but to build a career or a business as well,” Sangster said. “Simply put, these articles have helped put our City’s economic development efforts on the map and connect with the community we serve in a powerful, meaningful way.”

Helping local government better connect with the public is what inspired JPW President Jenny Windle to launch the communications firm four years ago. JPW now has offices in San Diego and Los Angeles counties and serves more than three dozen clients throughout the state of California.

“My team and I inherently know what our clients need because we have decades of experience working in government,” Windle said “We fiercely believe that clear, compelling communication can and does improve governance. Recognitions like this international award validate that work is meaningful and inspires us to do more.”

The campaign’s content was written by JPW Chief Content Officer Marlena Medford, a former journalist and city public information officer who is known for her ability to take complex or mundane subject matter and weave it into compelling stories that engage audiences.

Founded in 2015, JPW is a full-service firm that offers award-winning strategy development, community outreach, media relations, marketing campaigns, video production, content creation and more. For more information about JPW and its capabilities, please visit

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