RPN Today - S1E5 - Marketing Hometown America
“Hometown.” The word often evokes a sense of nostalgia, when life was simpler, safer, better. But there’s nothing to say that the town you live in now can’t feel the same way. Marketing Hometown America is a program where Rural Prosperity Nebraska Extension educators help make your community a home. Not just for you, but for the long-time residents, the newcomers, and even those looking to move there.
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[00:00:00.031](upbeat acoustic music)
[00:00:17.010]The word often evokes a sense of nostalgia,
[00:00:19.590]when life was simpler, safer, and better.
[00:00:22.500]But there's nothing to say
[00:00:23.490]that the town you live in now can't feel the same way.
[00:00:26.250]Marketing Hometown America is a program where
[00:00:28.860]Rural Prosperity Nebraska Extension educators
[00:00:31.800]help make your community a home, not just for you
[00:00:35.520]but for the longtime residents, the newcomers
[00:00:38.310]and even those looking to move there.
[00:00:40.410]Marketing Hometown America is a program that was developed
[00:00:45.150]and researched out of the University of Nebraska
[00:00:48.330]to help communities figure out what are their niches,
[00:00:52.350]what are their assets,
[00:00:54.270]their draws that could bring tourists, residents
[00:00:58.440]to their community for people that want to live, work,
[00:01:01.860]play in their communities.
[00:01:03.750]While the process normally helps
[00:01:05.160]individual communities identify their culture
[00:01:07.680]and accentuate their qualities,
[00:01:09.780]in 2016, Seward began the program for the entire county.
[00:01:13.710]For us as an organization sort of taking the lead on this
[00:01:17.160]we were looking for that countywide brand and identity
[00:01:20.370]and we accomplished that in a big way
[00:01:23.130]but we're also able to integrate
[00:01:24.510]through the branding how individual communities
[00:01:26.580]could really stand out.
[00:01:28.230]York County also had a similar experience
[00:01:30.480]bringing their communities together
[00:01:32.070]for the Marketing Hometown America program.
[00:01:34.440]It actually was really awesome.
[00:01:36.210]We had groups from the community of York.
[00:01:39.060]We had groups from Henderson, groups from Bradshaw
[00:01:42.990]and groups from different communities throughout the county.
[00:01:46.290]While the program outlined was created
[00:01:47.940]by extension specialists, the action items that come out
[00:01:51.180]of the discussion groups vary community to community.
[00:01:54.780]Today, six years after those original conversations
[00:01:58.320]many of the communities in Seward
[00:02:00.030]and York Counties are still seeing the impacts that came
[00:02:03.000]from the Marketing Hometown America program.
[00:02:05.580]One shining star that I'll mention
[00:02:08.000]is the community of Utica.
[00:02:09.450]They actually created a community foundation as a result
[00:02:12.330]of Marketing Hometown America.
[00:02:14.760]They raised local philanthropy dollars.
[00:02:16.710]They partnered with their village who got some
[00:02:19.290]state grant dollars to help support that.
[00:02:22.440]The community of Bradshaw actually has
[00:02:24.930]their MAH Marketing Hometown America Committee still going.
[00:02:29.100]We're six years out
[00:02:30.210]and they're still holding the meetings all on their own.
[00:02:33.090]This is not university-directed.
[00:02:34.950]We just help the community facilitate the process
[00:02:38.850]and so it's very much owned by the community.
[00:02:42.510]This year, Rural Prosperity Nebraska
[00:02:44.490]published an updated guidebook that walks participants
[00:02:47.340]through community conversations, evaluations
[00:02:50.250]and action plans.
[00:02:51.600]However, in each case, the end goal is to help you create
[00:02:55.500]the community where you want to live, work and play.
[00:02:59.070]I would highly encourage people to consider participating
[00:03:01.380]in Marketing Hometown America.
[00:03:02.850]It's been a great program for us
[00:03:04.740]that we've seen continued sustained success over time.
[00:03:07.980]It was not just a one and done program
[00:03:10.740]and so it really helped us focus
[00:03:12.570]and empower local leaders to be successful.
[00:03:15.782](bright acoustic music)
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