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Putting Faces to Names

Working in the communications realm isn’t easy. People don’t always see the collaboration and strategy that goes into producing the final product. This is especially true for the work our team does. Our process involves talking to a lot of different people in a lot of different ways. My personal favorite? Face-to-face.


Hi, I’m Hannah, and I’m the Brand Manager for BrandJRNY’s Point Pleasant project. I’m new here, but for those who have been following along with BrandJRNY for a while, you already knew that. For those of you who have some catching up to do, check out this recap video our Brand Storytelling team created. If you don’t have time to watch the video, I’ll do my best to fill you in.


Over the past seven months, our team worked with a community-branding committee to create a three-phase branding plan with the goal to position Point Pleasant as a diversified tourist destination for history buffs and folklore fans. Last semester’s team conducted the research used to develop that goal, which serves as the driving force for the campaign.


The Spring 2020 BrandJRNY team members during their first client meeting with the Point Pleasant community-branding committee. | Source: Carly Smith

The Spring semester class is a little different. We joined right in the middle of all the action. And, although it was nice that the fall team conducted all of the research for the campaign (thank you, fall 2019 team), I think I can speak for almost all of the “newbies” when I say that there’s a slight feeling of “lost” in the beginning. After all, we didn’t know who these people were or what they were like. As brand manager, I hate to say it, but I was kind of uncomfortable since I was responsible for serving as a key point of contact between the community branding committee and our team.


Those feelings quickly subsided after our first trip to Point Pleasant. We were welcomed immediately with such warmth by the community. It was as if we had been there the entire time. Our team is particularly fond of the Lowe Hotel, and we always stay there when in town. Marcia greeted us with hugs and had room keys laying out for us.


While exploring Point Pleasant’s rich history, visiting local businesses on Main Street, and meeting with the branding committee, my nerves were settled. Seeing these people face-to-face and getting to share in their love for their community sparked something in me. Any doubt I had about my position was erased.


One of my favorite quotes from Maya Angelou reads, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is true in life, but also in the work we do. This community made that quote come to life for me, and all it took was a simple “hello” and a smile. Not only am I comfortable in my position, but I’m looking forward to visiting again. I can’t wait to see these people and build upon our relationships.


You can easily say things. You can easily do things. But it takes time, thought, and energy to make people feel a certain way.


My name is Hannah Williams. I am the Brand Manager for BrandJRNY’s Point Pleasant project. I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with hot dogs, dancing, and rainy days. Follow me for artsy things, embarrassing life tidbits, and all things BrandJRNY — @itsnothantastic.

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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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