This actually is a good idea: The Dallas Regional Chamber and the DowntownDallas group that promotes downtown are spending $250,000 to send personalized iPhones to targeted corporate executives who might consider relocating to Dallas, according to a DMN story. Businesses in California, New Jersey and New York are the primary targets, because — at least from a Texas perspective — those states are hurting now and the corporate environment isn’t perceived to be as friendly as it is here in Dallas.

Each iPhone is loaded with a message from Mayor Tom Leppert, statistics targeted toward impacting an executive’s decision to relocate, and comments from Dallas business leaders trumpeting the area.

Will it work? Forgetting about the publicity the idea will receive, which will probably be pretty valuable, the promotion will work as well any cold-call or blind marketing mailing. People will certainly be intrigued to receive an iPhone, and once they figure out what’s going on, I imagine they’ll watch a few seconds of the message. And then, since I’m assuming most executives leading $500 million companies already can afford a pretty nice cell phone, the iPhone will wind up in the hands of a secretary, a grandchild, a wife or whoever — after all, the holidays are right around the corner.

And then, if the Dallas people don’t follow-up and follow-up and follow-up some more, nothing will happen. The iPhone will certainly receive attention, but it will take a concerted sales pitch to bring the business home.

And let’s hope that the city budget debate, and the questions about where the city will find the money needed to pave streets and keep the libraries open and enforce codes, won’t remind the iPhone recipients too much of their current home.

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