Tell Your Story

Harbinger helps draw the story of your place from the people who know it best, then helps refine it and tell it through clear and visually compelling economic reports written in plain English, cultivation of local messengers, a hands-on “grassroots” approach to destination branding and marketing, and travel and recreation websites. Harbinger engages local researchers, photographers, videographers, social media pros, storytellers and other creative types for an even bigger local impact.

 

Examples of our work

 
Rafting on the Delaware River  (Sullivan County Visitors Association)

Rafting on the Delaware River (Sullivan County Visitors Association)

scenic wild delaware river, new jersey, new york & pennsylvania

geotourism website

Harbinger was in on the ground floor of this effort to create an online travel guide to the middle and upper Delaware River region, which unites nine counties in three states.

This National Geographic Geotourism Map Guide is part of a broader effort to help communities in the river valley create a shared identity and market themselves to invite visitors to celebrate and sustain what is most distinctive about the Scenic Wild Delaware River. Today, the website has more than 700 contributors who tell the region’s story in their distinctly local voices, connecting travelers with area businesses, attractions, experiences and characters.

In addition to leading the pre- and post-launch website editorial effort, Harbinger supported creation and strategic development of a broad-based stewardship council to integrate the promotion, education, outreach and conservation aspirations of this initiative.

Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park  (National Park Service)

Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park (National Park Service)

crown of the continent, alberta, british columbia, Montana

pathways to prosperity

In 2003, Harbinger wrote Gateway to Glacier: The Emerging Economy of Flathead County for the National Parks Conservation Association. The report drew on three economic studies to detail how Glacier National Park and the superb quality of life in Montana’s Flathead Valley contributed to a growing, vibrant and diversifying economy.

The links between public lands, scenic beauty, outdoor recreation and other natural “amenities” on one hand, and economic vitality on the other, were not as broadly understood as they are today. Gateway to Glacier told a new story, helping local business and community leaders, public lands managers and others talk about and pursue economic success differently.

Nine years later, NPCA revisited that storyline in an expanded geography: the entire Canada/U.S. Crown of the Continent region encompassing Waterton Glacier International Peace Park. The resulting collection of stories from businesses, communities, and economic developers explore what it means to live and work in one of the world’s premier mountain regions.

Harbinger edited and provided publication design and layout services for the report, Pathways to Prosperity: The Natural Roots of Economic Success in the Crown of the Continent.

Downtown Mount Morris, New York  (Louise Wadsworth)

Downtown Mount Morris, New York (Louise Wadsworth)

genesee valley, new york

collaborative branding & brand strategy development

In 2019, Harbinger partnered with Letchworth Gateway Villages to complete a “grassroots branding” effort for the Genesee Valley in western New York.

This hands-on, community-rooted effort and the brand strategy it yielded supports the evolution of a regional destination that integrates Letchworth State Park—one of New York’s most popular state parks—with nearby communities, attractions and experiences. 

While a destination’s brand ultimately speaks to prospective visitors, its promise is only good if it reflects the real heart and soul of a place. Locals—including the hospitality workers with whom visitors come into contact most—need to behave consistently with a brand’s values.

The Genesee Valley brand strategy is built around four shared values that workshop participants and local survey respondents identified as core:

  • Exploration and discovery

  • Stewardship of the land and water

  • Honoring the past and creating a brighter future

  • Being good neighbors and supporting our communities

The brand strategy is proprietary, but you can see the website built on it at ExploreGeneseeValley.com.

 
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Economic reports

Harbinger’s economic reports are known for distilling volumes of information into understandable, compelling presentations, often featuring local voices carrying key messages. Our style matches the situation:

• The journalistic National Parks Conservation Association report, Making Connections: Roots of Prosperity in New York and Pennsylvania’s Upper Delaware River Region.

• The advocacy-supporting Working Together for the Front summary report for the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front.

• A straightforward fact sheet about the potential benefits of national monument designation for the Waco Mammoth Site in Texas.

• A promotional urgent care clinic prospectus for the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund.

(Inside the dig shelter at the Waco Mammoth National Monument. Waco Mammoth Site photo.)