It’s been said that business and pleasure don’t mix, but a unique partnership between the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) is an exception. With the goal of driving foreign investment into the region, representatives of the PRA –  the marketing and economic development organization of the 10-county Pittsburgh region – have travelled alongside the PSO on its tours abroad for the past six years, from western Europe to China.  This unlikely duo of a business agency and a world-class arts organization are able to communicate a compelling message about why the Pittsburgh region is the perfect place for global investment and international business partnerships.  In leveraging the PSO’s powerful status as an ambassador of the region, the PRA is able to positively connect with international business leaders who may not have previously had Pittsburgh on their radars. For these business leaders – many of whom are devotees of classical music – the PSO, its musicians and the sterling quality of the orchestra’s performances – provide perspective about Pittsburgh as the kind of city and region where they’d like to do business.

fDi (foreign direct investment) magazine, a Financial Times unit, has taken notice of the power of this unusual collaboration. In its February/March edition, Senior Americas Editor Michael Kaczmarski quotes the PRA’s VP of Global Marketing Suzi Pegg in an article about how regions throughout the U.S. are increasingly seeking more direct investment from abroad. He writes:

“…some US regions are taking an unconventional approach to getting themselves noticed. Suzi Pegg, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance vice-president of global marketing, says that apart from conventional high-level meetings, city representatives tour together with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to conduct business talks in tune with spectacular renditions of Brahms and Rachmaninoff. ‘I would characterise our efforts to promote the Pittsburgh region for FDI as robust,’ says Ms Pegg.”

Read the rest of Kaczmarski’s article here (free registration required).

Click here to read Allegheny Conference CEO Dennis Yablonsky’s dispatch from Paris from the PSO’s 2011 European Festivals tour last fall. And check out Suzi Pegg’s perspective in the Pittsburgh Business Times for more information on the unique Pittsburgh partnership between the PSO and PRA.