Screenshot of Tuesday’s Eureka City Council meeting.


Civic pride has gone way up in Eureka in recent years, according to a recent survey from Eddy Alexander, the marketing firm tasked with improving the city’s image.

“When we first came in, we did a big comprehensive survey,” Jennifer Eddy, president and chief strategist at Eddy Alexander, said during Tuesday’s Eureka City Council meeting. “One of the questions embedded in that survey [asked] ‘How likely are you to recommend a visit to the city of Eureka to a friend or colleague?’ You all may remember there were some negative headlines at the time about the community having a morale problem … but we sort of took [the results] as a goal. You know, if we’re going to do great things for tourism, the locals have to believe in the story being shared.”

With the help of Eddy Alexander, the City of Eureka ushered in a new era. Over the last three years, the marketing firm has doubled down on tourism marketing efforts and, simultaneously, worked to enhance the community’s perception of itself.

“Seeing yourself in National Geographic or American Way Magazine or, you know, seeing the [Redwood] Skywalk featured in Condé Nast Traveler Spain … I think it makes people look at their own community – where it’s easy to take for granted what you see every day – with fresh eyes,” Eddy explained. “I think if people have a kind of negative perception, that fresh look through a new lens is what makes them go, ‘Wait a minute, that’s pretty darn cool!’”

The big Sara Bareilles concert at Halvorsen Park last October proved to be a big confidence boost for the City of Eureka. Eddy Alexander surveyed “several thousand” people a few weeks after the concert and found the city’s “Net Promoter Score” had jumped by 200 percent.


The Net Promoter Score measures survey results on a scale of one to ten. In this case, a score under five would be considered a “detractor,” or a negative score, and anything between a five and a seven would be considered a “neutral positive.”

“This is the same metric that is used by brands, it’s used by governments and all different organizations to measure pride in place,” Eddy explained. “We want eights, nines and tens. Those are people who are passionate enough about their community to be advocating for their community. They’re outspoken, they’re influencing other folks, and that’s really what we want to measure. … I think that’s a pretty amazing stat.”

Moulton credited Eddy Alexander with “raising Eureka’s impression of itself” and asked about specific strategies the firm had used to do so. Eddy emphasized the importance of community partnerships and “making sure [local] folks know about all of the great stuff happening” around town. 

“I think sometimes tourism programs are so focused on using limited dollars to get people to come in that they forget to share with the folks that can be ambassadors for all the stuff that’s happening locally,” she said. “One of the great things that come out of tourism is placemaking and quality of life activities that make you want to live here, that makes you want to stay here and play here and invite your friends from out of town here.”

She, once again, pointed to the Sara Bareilles concert as “a perfect example” of something that was designed for the community that also promoted tourism. “It left an impression in people’s minds – both locally and from further away – about what a great community this was.”

Moulton also asked where tourists are typically traveling from. The vast majority are coming from Redding, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Denver, Eddy said.

Mayor Kim Bergel, likewise, expressed her gratitude to Eddy Alexander and recalled the tumultuous time surrounding the city’s search for a new marketing services firm. “It wasn’t the most beautiful time,” she said. “I just, I love all the little details and nuances that happened with this campaign. Personally, I don’t understand how people don’t understand and realize that we live in paradise. I don’t get that.”

The council agreed to accept the report but did not take any action on the item.

You can find a recording of Tuesday’s meeting at this link.