POINT PLEASANT — Local high school students and West Virginia University’s BrandJRNY team will be joining together to host two upcoming events in November.
WVU students and faculty along with Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School’s (PPJ/SHS) Point Pleasant Live Student Broadcast Media Group are partnering together to hold two “Share Your Story” events. Point Pleasant Live will be recording the locals who choose to discuss memories of their community as a part the community branding initiative in Point Pleasant.
The Share Your Story event will take place Wednesday, Nov. 6, in Point Pleasant at two locations including PPJ/SHS from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and the Mason County Library from 5-8 p.m. The PPJ/SHS option is reserved for students and school staff. The evening library option is open to all community members.
“Community members can come in pairs, with friends or family, to discuss their memories of Point Pleasant’s past as well as their hopes for the future of the community,” said David Smith, teaching assistant professor and brand storytelling lead. “It’s a great way to share authentic stories of the town from the people who know it best.”
Two microphones will be set up for participants to have a conversation about a story or memory related to the community. Locals who participate may bring an idea for the recorded conversation or they can choose from available discussion prompts at the event. In return, participants will receive a free digital portrait and may see their story shared in BrandJRNY’s promotions. An example of a previously recorded audiogram story can be viewed on BrandJRNY’s Facebook page.
“They (Point Pleasant Live students) are excited,” Point Pleasant Live Adviser Andrew Layton said.“This project appealed to many of them to get involved, spark change, share fresh ideas and be heard. Several of them are going to go to WVU, so this chance to get involved now can help them down the road.”
An RSVP for the Share Your Story event is not required, but it is encouraged to ensure limited wait times. Those interested can access the RSVP link on BrandJRNY’s Facebook page or through the link, http://bit.do/sharestory.
The BrandJRNY team recently finished its pre-campaign research phase to guide the branding plan. The team hosted two community roundtable events earlier this month, with nearly 50 Point Pleasant area residents in attendance. BrandJRNY also conducted surveys of residents and visitors to gauge their opinions about the town to help guide the campaign and the creative phase of the branding process.
Started in 2015, BrandJRNY is a grant-funded community branding initiative at the WVU Reed College of Media’s Media Innovation Center. The initiative aims to revitalize West Virginia communities through research based, integrated branding plans and creative and promotional strategies to help boost tourism, encourage economic development and increase community pride. BrandJRNY is currently funded by a grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation and formerly funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
For more information, visit BrandJRNY.com or follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at BrandJRNY.
Information for this article was submitted by Ruthie Deely.