Last Thursday, October 4, four Chicago-based organizations—the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), and World Business Chicago—held an event at 1871 in the Merchandise Mart to celebrate the release of the Illinois Innovation Index annual report. The Index is the product of unprecedented collaboration among these organizations to use research and analysis to gauge the progress of metropolitan Chicago and Illinois to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
The event was particularly gratifying because Leff Communications has served as the editorial and design resource for the Index from its inception. While it’s exciting to get involved in any project on the ground floor, there were certain challenges: we had to establish a tone, look, and feel for the Index; we worked with stakeholders to implement a production process; and most important, we were part of forging a healthy working relationship among organizations with a shared interest but different missions and constituencies.
Throughout the past year, I was continually impressed with each organization’s dedication and attention to detail. Developing a narrative based solely on each month’s raw data was an interesting undertaking; ensuring that we were accurately representing the numbers took the care and sharp eye of the entire team. The credibility of the Index depended on providing an unvarnished look at the data, even when those findings highlighted Illinois’ shortcomings.
In 2013, the Index will be published on a quarterly basis and continue to offer access to the raw data through MetroPulse.
One of my firm’s missions is to work on projects that make a contribution to the greater good. Along with the Index, Leff Communications also served as the study consultant for the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs’ recent report on attracting more foreign direct investment to Chicago. And we’ve begun providing communications assistance to the Civic Consulting Alliance, an organization focused on making a lasting impact on the City of Chicago.
Let me know if you would like more information on our involvement with these organizations.