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From Data to Digital

Nice to see you again, lovely readers. If you don’t remember me, I was one of BrandJRNY’s Research Directors last fall. As you may remember from my previous blogs, I loved my role, even though, at first, I was unsure of how I would do. As time passed, I grew comfortable in my position and conducted incredible, important research that would guide the spring semester. Once I decided I would be coming back in the spring, I immediately started thinking of what role I would take on. Since all of the research is conducted in the fall, the spring team doesn’t have a research director. Lucky for me, Dr. Colistra knew exactly what role I would excel in and I put my trust in her. Once again, it is paying off. My role in BrandJRNY for the spring semester is the Digital Media Director. Like in the fall, it’s a role I never thought I would do well in, since I have no experience in something like it, but I quickly picked it up and love it. 

I had to hit the ground running as soon as the semester started, which at first left me feeling overwhelmed and scattered. However, once I reviewed the data from last semester and got started, that nervous energy faded away. Something the fall taught me was that you have to go into a project with full confidence, but also an awareness that you’re not going to be perfect. It’s okay to mess up and ask for help. I was lucky enough to have the help of our Account Coordinator and Digital + Social Media Manager, Carly Smith. Carly provided support and insight that helped make the website perfect for Point Pleasant visitors and residents alike. I also dusted off my research skills to find articles that would help me write compelling and friendly copy, such as this resource


Working on Point Pleasant’s website | Source: Seth Seebaugh

My role last semester has helped me get a better grasp of being the Digital Media Director. My main job now is to help create Point Pleasant’s new website, such as writing copy for everything listed on the website, picking out what photos will be displayed, writing the metadata, and more. If you’re like I was two months ago and have no idea what metadata or copy is, check out this article. I found it incredibly helpful for writing and understanding the entire process. As I said earlier, being so involved in the research made my job easier. For example, when I was writing the copy for Point Pleasant’s website, I had to keep in mind our target audiences as well as the residents. From data we collected to meeting and talking with community members at the roundtable discussions, I know each of these audiences extremely well. Since I had already been immersed in the community, I knew what shops, landmarks, parks and more I was writing about, and how to make it even more appealing to potential visitors. I had more fun than I ever expected helping create the website, and getting to unveil it at our brand launch was one of my proudest moments. Every person that stopped by my table to look deeper at the website had nothing but positive feedback! I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this process, and am proud to be an honorary citizen of Point Pleasant. Check out the city’s new website here

My name is Chelsea Harper. I am the Digital Media Director  for BrandJRNY’s Point Pleasant project. My posts (and life) generally revolve around my 100-pound dog, Olive. Follow me to see our journey, and unreasonable amounts of dog pics. @chelseaharperrr



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Housed at the WVU Media Innovation Center, BrandJRNY is a community branding initiative that is a grant-funded collaboration between the American Electric Power Foundation and WVU Reed College of Media.

The Initiative was previously funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for our three pilot projects.

Original website designed by Mariah Elliott, under the direction of PI and Director Dr. Rita Colistra.

Photos and content may not be used without written permission by contacting brandjrny@gmail.com.

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