Returning to Point Pleasant this Spring is much like hearing an old favorite song. It is comfortable and familiar, yet there is always something more to learn.
Last semester, I saw Point Pleasant through events and data analysis. As the Creative Director in the fall, I got to develop an initial relationship with the community, which I used in my work on the campaign. At the time, I had no idea how strong my connection would be to the place, but more so the people there.
This semester I’m playing an entirely different role, although the relationship with the town remains unchanged. Immediately upon arrival, our group was met with handshakes, hugs, and genuine interest in our project and our team. It’s this same interpersonal quality that tends to set West Virginia communities apart, and I love that I get to show potential visitors, as well as residents of Point Pleasant, how special this place is. As the Point Pleasant Videographer with BrandJRNY, I am now capturing real moments of community joy and interaction and using that footage to convey the experience that Point Pleasant has to offer. This means that I’m right beside community members, experiencing their town with them and helping them tell their story first hand.
The thing that stands out to me the most about this visit is the open gratitude expressed by community members to our team. The community recognizes our work and has been so receptive to what we are doing. Several people even stopped to thank us and made sure we were getting what we needed. As a part of BrandJRNY, we are all just happy to be there, learning and working with this town. Seeing how grateful people are, however, makes every second of work even a little more worthwhile.
I feel so lucky to be continuing with this project, especially from a new perspective on the Brand Storytelling team. I’ve gained several new invaluable skills, and I continue to grow in this way. It still feels unreal that I get to develop these skills in such a lovely place, with so many people who are ready to make a change in their home. I am so excited to continue working with Point Pleasant, and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish by the end of the semester.
If you would like to keep up with the Brand Storytelling team’s work, click here.
“My name is Claire Hemme, and I am the Point Pleasant Videographer for the BrandJRNY Storytelling team. If I’m not cooking or coffee-ing, you can find me in the woods somewhere.” — @shimmyhemme