Rochester, NY — ROC2025, an alliance of economic development organizations dedicated to accelerating economic growth, uniting communities and building a greater story for the Rochester, New York, region, announced today it is launching Greater ROC, a multiyear brand initiative to highlight the region’s many unique characteristics and collective strengths.
A major effort by ROC2025 — an alliance of Greater Rochester Enterprise, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation and Visit Rochester, as well as the City, the State, multiple county officials and higher-education representatives — Greater ROC is a unified brand identity that represents the values of the Rochester region and its many voices, and communicates the essence of the region to tourism, business, education, nonprofit, arts/culture, health care and other economic sectors locally and across the nation.
The initial local launch of Greater ROC includes a multiplatform video that will be shown on TV and digital media, an internet landing page (GreaterROC.com), social media channels, public relations outreach to news outlets and online influencers, and a toolkit for local organizations and individuals wanting to support and co-promote the Greater ROC brand.
Greater ROC resources and tools will be accessible in an open-source manner, allowing organizations across Greater Rochester to leverage and integrate the brand into their own activities, platforms and materials, while ROC2025 will lead an aggressive effort to promote the brand inside and outside of the Rochester region through its alliance partners. Combining the power of the entire community’s involvement with the focus of ROC2025’s members — all telling Rochester’s story in a unified way — will strengthen the region’s identity and draw success to businesses and people alike.
“Greater” Exemplifies Region and its People
Greater ROC was created following months of in-depth interviews and opinion gathering with more than 100 community members and leaders — representing a broad cross section of business sectors and demographic groups from urban, suburban and rural communities — about how the Rochester region views itself and how the region should be positioned locally and to the rest of the nation.
“The central message of Greater ROC is that Greater Rochester is more than a place and more than geography — and that ‘greater’ is actually what the region and its people are truly made of,” ROC2025 President & CEO Joseph Stefko said. “The brand embraces the region’s individual strengths to unleash its united potential, tapping the talent, ingenuity and positive energy of Rochester’s many voices, beliefs and experiences. It’s a collective spark that celebrates who, what and where this nine-county region is to ignite a new way forward and a new way of talking about Rochester, and boldly says that this is one region, many strong and made greater by all. It’s galvanizing, empowering, inclusive and about the growth of our community. This new platform boldly asserts — on the local and national stage — that ours is a region on the move.”
The Greater ROC initiative supports each of the five pillars that form the foundation of ROC2025’s unprecedented collaborative model: coordinated capacity-building investments in business retention and expansion, talent strategy, business attraction, downtown growth and regional branding/marketing.
“Developing a unified Greater ROC brand platform enables us to showcase the myriad assets that make the Greater Rochester, New York, region a competitive and attractive place for tourism, talent attraction, business attraction and retention,” Greater Rochester Enterprise President & CEO Matt Hurlbutt said. “Together, we can amplify the highly skilled workforce, world-class universities and cultural arts that make our community a greater place to grow a business and raise a family than any other high-tech hub around the country.”
Hand-Raisers Play Key Role in Championing Greater ROC
The success of bringing a new regional identity to life and spurring the Rochester economy depends on the world better understanding what the region has to offer. The shared nature of the Greater ROC brand will galvanize community members and organizations, empowering them to help carry the torch.
Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “I see great strength in our region’s many voices and economic sectors sharing a single message to promote all of the outstanding features that make Greater Rochester an attractive place to live, work and play. With our laser focus on workforce development and talent attraction, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with stakeholders across the region to share the message that we are, indeed, ‘Greater’ ROC. I encourage the business community to join the effort as we take our region to new heights.”
Interested “Champions for Greater ROC” from Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties can learn more about how they can get involved by going to GreaterROC.com to request a Greater ROC brand toolkit. The toolkit includes a Greater ROC champion badge, sample Greater ROC email copy and signature, and other downloadable assets organizations can use to publicly share their support. The Guide to Greater toolkit also includes tips and advice for how “Champions for Greater ROC” can promote positive stories of hope, empowerment, action, resilience, equity, business growth and entrepreneurial spirit that exemplify what being “greater” is all about, celebrating the incredible people and experiences of the Greater Rochester, NY, region.
“To the community leaders, creatives, influencers, educators, business owners, media members, philanthropists, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, and others who believe Rochester can be greater by highlighting the people, places and things that make this a great place to live, work and visit: Please consider lending your support to spread the word about Greater ROC,” Visit Rochester President & CEO Don Jeffries said.
Inclusivity, Diversity and a New Regional Narrative Central to Greater ROC
One of the key inputs heard repeatedly during the development of Greater ROC was the importance of hearing from and actively seeking the participation of as many voices and points of view as possible, a concept that’s taken on even more importance given recent events — including the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing dialogue about racial inequity — that have put the collective strength of the region and the world to the test.
“Like Rochester itself, Greater ROC finds inspiration in our rich business and human tapestry — from farms and Main Street businesses of the Finger Lakes to corporations and startups in our urban center to everyday contributions made by people of all ages, colors, creeds, and ethnicities,” Rochester Downtown Development Corporation President Heidi Zimmer-Meyer said. “Welcoming unique voices and spurring the movement that Greater ROC seeks to inspire will change how this region thinks about itself — and how the rest of the world thinks about Rochester. Greater ROC represents a totally new and different narrative.”
ROC2025 is an alliance of economic development organizations — including Greater Rochester Enterprise, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation and Visit Rochester, as well as public sector partners from the City, the State and multiple counties — established in 2019 to accelerate growth in the Rochester, New York, region through coordinated capacity-building investments in business retention and expansion, talent strategy, business attraction, downtown growth/innovation and regional branding/marketing.