Could Metropolitan Washington Win Amazon HQ2?
The time frame was short, and the stakes were extremely high.
Amazon.com would soon be choosing a location for its new headquarters, and more than 200 cities and regions were trying to lure the business giant to them.
Based on our previous success in helping Montgomery County, Maryland retain Marriott International’s Corporate Headquarters (see Marriott.WhatsTheDatastory.com), the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments asked us to help with the Greater Washington Area’s bid for “Amazon HQ2.” A big challenge was that the work involved input from a variety of stakeholders—each with their own priorities—including multiple local governments, public relations firms, and economic development entities. But everyone knew the winning city could anticipate millions of dollars in new tax revenue, billions of dollars of new economic development projects and an influx of up to 50,000 new jobs.
Datastory responded by doing what we do best, creating a beautiful and engaging presentation that highlighted the region’s strength of demographics, workforce, transit access, housing, and quality of life. We made all this information both accessible and persuasive through interactive, colorful maps and that grounded the message in data. Our presentation told a compelling story, conveying the strength of the region for Amazon’s new home.
The result? Amazon announced that three of the 20 finalists were in the Greater Washington area—and the eventual winner was Crystal City, in Northern Virginia.
We are proud that our visually dynamic presentation contributed to Metropolitan Washington’s success. You can explore this Datastory for yourself: AmazonDMV.com. And we were honored to win an industry award for Storytelling with Maps by Esri, the world leader in location intelligence and mapping. You can see a short video interview in Esri’s “Map We Love” series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr1sFc8uEFQ (below).
Most important to us, we delivered for our client and loved the response we received from Chuck Bean, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments:
“From the beginning, we knew that metropolitan Washington was the perfect place for Amazon, and Datastory helped us make that case to support our member governments’ bids. The StoryMap they created for us was the best of both worlds, visually compelling and data-grounded—and a great way to showcase our region’s many strengths.”