• Zeb Carlson

Case Study: Scott County CDA

We're more than rooftops.

That was the comment that Executive Director Bill Jaffa made during our first meeting, and I must admit, it truly set the tone of our work together.

The Scott County Community Development Agency is a vital part of the county's successful growth. With a stodgy brand that felt impersonal, they realized that it was time to freshen things up. As I met with staff, over and over I heard stories of their compassion and care for the mission. Yet, everyone struggled to remember the old (albeit very long) mission.


Our first step was developing a mission and vision that aligned with the values that the CDA employs every day. By considering the organizations leadership, the staff's passion, and their work to create equitable solutions for everyone in Scott County, we were able to rethink how the CDA shows up.


As we developed the mission, we started working on the updated tone of the organization — which includes the tone of our conversations online and off, the colors and brand identity, and all things that connect with the people that engage with the CDA, right down to the sign on the front door that welcomes you to the office.

The CDA provides a number of services for the county:

  • Through a variety of programs and services, they work to ensure all people have a safe home to call their own.

  • They provide direct services that support tough times such as foreclosure counseling, and also support for those thinking about buying their first home.

  • Economic development, providing programs and consulting services to those that seek to establish or grow their business in our county.

This means that they help the cities do everything from bring in new job opportunities with businesses and such, and all the way to helping create low-interest and deferred loan programs for communities to develop housing. Very cool, and very essential. We wanted all of this to come together in a warm, conversational, and decidedly not-too-government-feeling brand.


When it came to the website, it's all about people able to find what they need easily. We created a resource library full of forms and documents that people need to complete prior to stopping by the office, and resources for each city to help those considering setting up their business in Scott County.

By updating the website copy with a conversational tone and more clear calls to action, while at the same time utilizing SEO best practices, we were able to pull our work together in a well organized and helpful resource. I'm incredibly proud of the work we were able to accomplish, and my ongoing collaboration with this group continues to help make it possible in Scott County. As I list the people below, those that helped with the project, it's hard to not list every member of the board and staff of the CDA. I'm a fan of bringing voices together on the journey, and the engagement throughout this project was incredible!

To learn more or ask a question, please contact me. Please take a moment and like, follow, and share the CDA's social media, too!

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