The Jan. 23 "Today" show piece singing praises about Greater Des Moines has been followed by a spike in inquiries from people interested in relocating to the area, according to officials with the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
From Jan. 23 through the beginning of this week, 52 people have requested relocation information packets from the partnership. That's compares to 12 such requests in the corresponding period a year ago. The Partnership gets some individual requests throughout the year, but most requests are from businesses that are looking to attract employees, said Mary Bontrager, executive vice president of workforce development and education at the Partnership.
"So to see individual requests is pretty dramatic, because that's saying they haven't even started to look for a job, (but) they're looking at the community," she said.
Bontrager said the benefits of national media exposure are often hard to measure, as the Partnership can't always see what people are saying on social media or hear all the conversations happening. But the increase in requests for relocation packets "is truly showing the impact."
The Partnership also recorded nearly double the traffic to its website on Jan. 23, with 671 unique visits, compared with 343 the same day in 2013.
The "Today" show feature was the latest national press for the city to go along with rankings from Forbes and other media outlets. Momentum has been building for a long time, Bontrager said, and people from outside the area are noticing.
"Now, people know about us," she said. "It's that curiosity or that excitement to know why this is such a hot place."