Sunday, July 18, 1999


Forget ranks; migrators know 'livable' cities

        People vote with their feet, the saying goes, and some of those feet are choosing Cincinnati.

        Howard J. Wall, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, didn't like how Money magazine and the Places Rated Almanac rated cities on livability.

        Very subjective, he said, and there's virtually no overlap between the two best-cities lists.

        So instead, he used census data on migration, to see where people are moving.

        The winner is Las Vegas. From 1990 to 1997, its population grew 38 percent just by in-migration, more than twice as much as No. 2 Atlanta. Las Vegas wasn't even in the Places Rated top 25, and Money rated it No. 11 out of 14 big cities in the West.

        Cincinnati came in a respectable No. 16 out of 59 cities, with a 5.6 percent growth by in-migration. It was No. 19 in Places Rated, and fifth of eight big Midwest cities rated by Money.

        In Mr. Wall's study, only three cities outside the Sun Belt (Portland, Denver and Monmouth-Ocean, N.J.) rated above Cincinnati. — John Byczkowski

Big spending, good image
        Money spent on public relations pays off. According to a study from Thomas Harris/Impulse Research, the top 200 of 476 companies in Fortune magazine's list of “America's Most Admired Companies” annually spend twice as much on public relations as companies at the bottom.

        The study from the Council of Public Relations found that top firms spent $6 million on public relations, while firms at the bottom spent $2.8 million.

        “This study shows clearly that spending translates into admiration and eventually consumer preference,” said Mike Maul, president of Wordsworth Communications who has been involved in Cincinnati public relations for 25 years. “PR has become an important tool in the marketing mix.”

        Rick Miller, senior vice president and managing director of Northlich Stolley LaWarre Public Relations and a 20-year public relations veteran, sees companies scrambling to protect turf in an environment that is becoming increasingly cluttered with media outlets and new businesses.

        “It is becoming more and more difficult to preserve the ability to do business — to build and protect reputations,” he said.

        “Public relations is something that is growing in the past few years, and now it is exploding.” — John Eckberg

Elder-Beerman optionless
        You can buy a new winter coat or a fashionable “tankini” for the beach — just don't shop for an Elder-Beerman Stores put or call option.

        The American Stock Exchange last week said Elder-Beerman was among 105 option classes it was delisting from trading.

        Amex spokesman John Quirk said any option class that has been listed for more than one year and trades less than an average of 20 contracts a day could be delisted as part of an ongoing voluntary delisting program.

        Elder-Beerman options, however, have been listed just since Nov. 2. Mr. Quirk said the delisting includes a few newer classes with extremely low volume. Thinly traded options don't make efficient markets, he said. — Amy Higgins

Wet promo for summer
        Here's a summertime business promotion that's all wet.

        Ilsco, the Madisonville-based manufacturer of electrical connectors, is offering bottled spring water to distributors who order products from the company this summer.

        Privately held Ilsco has ordered 70,000 16-ounce bottles of water, each with labels touting the company's ClearTap and Powergrip product lines.

        This is the second summer that Ilsco has offered bottled water to distributors to help build brand awareness for its product line.

        Cheryl Danley, marketing communications manager, said the company has developed a reputation in the industry for off-beat product promotions.

        In the past, it has offered its own brand of barbecue sauce and salsa in its summer sales promotions. — Mike Boyer

        Items for Tipsheet are gathered by Enquirer business reporters and compiled by Lisa Biank Fasig of the business staff.


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