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Economic News

Portland gets a 'Relocation Guide' of its own

December 15,2015 | By Andy Giegerich

An Austin, Texas-based publisher has just the resource for the many, many people making their way to the Rose City.

ARG Publications LLC has released its first Portland Relocation Guide. The magazine, packed with ads on its 216 pages, will publish twice a year, in November and May, and be distributed through local employers.

It features Ian Harnish, a former Portland Business Journal sales rep, as its publisher. ARG also publishes such guides in Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona, and Palm Beach, Florida.

We caught up with Harnish for an email chat about the Portland version of a guide that's succeeded in the Texas capitol.

What's the one thing people should know about the Relo Guide?The Portland Relocation Guide is a resource for regional employers, who provide it to their Portland-bound new hires and transferees. Relocation involves many complex decisions like neighborhoods, housing, schools, and transportation.

We paint the picture of life in Portland, and put it into context so that relocating execs and their families can make some pretty big, long term decisions about their new life in Portland.

What's your favorite part about it? A new job in a new city is exciting. Picking up and leaving an established life behind for a job is scary. I love that we help remove some of the stress and anxiety involved with moving to a new city.

We share information that helps families get excited about moving, and helps them reestablish and reconnect their lives. (Which employers appreciate, because the informed employee gets settled faster, and is more engaged at work.)

I also think we play a small role in advancing the economic development of the region by providing local companies with a tool that helps bring top talent to our region.

What, in putting it together, did you learn about Portland that you didn't know before? As a third generation Portlander/fourth generation Oregonian, it was fun to be a tourist in my own city, and learn new things about Portland. One fun fact that stuck with me: In 1959 tiny Damascus, Oregon held a celebration to recognize Oregon’s 100th birthday, which drew over 85,000 people, 45,000 cars, and a parade with 1,000 horses. Bear, beef and buffalo were served for 50 cents a plate.

I also learned about the helpful and collaborative nature of our city. The Portland Relocation Guide could not have been created without organizations like Greater Portland Inc, Travel Portland, and dozens of other partners and municipalities.

How are advertisers responding to it? Advertiser response has been very positive, with 44 advertisers in the inaugural publication. With any new publication, there is an education process. Advertisers haven’t had this kind of opportunity to reach the newcomer market in Portland until now (we launched in late November), so they are thinking about the significance of reaching this audience for the first time.

Portland Relocation Guide advertisers are local companies who want to be first to establish their position among Portland newcomers, or are a local service provider in the real estate/relocation process.

What are some of the things we can expect going forward from ARG? Since launching Portland, we’re already getting requests to start other cities in the Pacific Northwest. We will look at those cities, and others that are experiencing job, economic, and housing growth.

ARG Publications has been at it for over 13 years. Content is distributed in each market by way of print, website, digital magazine, apps, and social media. The opportunities are endless, as long as companies continue to hire, people continue to move, and advertisers want to reach the relocation market.

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