#BRANDWHITESVILLE

A History of Coal and Community

Whitesville is located in Boone County with a population of 503 residents. A former coal town located in the central part of the state, Whitesville has decreased in population steadily over the past 70 years. Its main attraction, the Upper Big Branch Miners Memorial Plaza, draws visitors to remember 29 miners tragically lost in a mining disaster in 2010. Whitesville is positioned as a community pride brand, which can potentially lead to an economic development brand in time.

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Challenge

Incorporated in the 1930s, Whitesville, West Virginia, is faced with a shortage of jobs and lack of commerce due to the declining coal industry.

Solution

After conducting focus groups, surveys and talking to community leaders, the students created a community branding center in conjuction with the town's existing economic agencies. Their goals were to promote the town's history, recreational and education tourism, as well as promote communtity pride and increase resident engagement.

Accomplishments

  • New slogan

  • New website

  • New billboards

  • Developed two educational tourism curricula

  • Established regional partnerships

  • Templates for email campaigns

  • Promotional materials

  • Media placement

  • Hosted community events

Portfolio

A compilation of branding materials created by the #PRessgrovePros

Gallery

Team

Three teams. One goal. #BrandWhitesville

Geah Pressgrove, Ph.D.
Faculty Leader

Bike Rider | Digital Communications Nerd | Rower Wannabe | Researcher | Outdoor Enthusiast | Professor
Hannah Cebula
Account Executive - Team Metamorphasis

Strategic Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations
Marina Belfiore
Account Executive - Team Reawakening

Strategic Communications Major | Leader | Adrenaline Junkie | PR Enthusiast | Detroit Red Wings Fan
Gabby Russillo
Account Executive - Team Synergy Media

Advertising Major | Outdoor/Travel Enthusiast
Tori Brown
Public Relations Director - Metamorphasis

Strategic Communications and Business Administration
Melissa Decker
Digital Media Director - Metamorphasis

Strategic Communications with an emphasis in Advertising | Communication Studies |
Megan Hardway
Research Director - Metamorphasis

Strategic Communications | PR | #WVU
Ali McLaughlin
Media Buyer - Metamorphasis

Strategic Communications | Theatre
Amy Petrakis
Event Planner - Metamorphasis

Strategic Communications Major | Business Administration Minor
Allyson Whelan
Creative Director - Metamorphasis

Strategic Communications Senior | Future Wedding Planner | Beach Girl
Alli Daniels
Event Director - Reawakening

Strategic communications | communications minor | Dachshund lover | travel enthusiast | Pittsburgh Penguins fan
Elizabeth Freeman
Creative Director - Reawakening

Napper | Entertainment nerd | Drake lover | WVU Student
Danielle Knebal
Media Buyer - Reawakening

Strategic Communications | Communications Minor | Food Lover | Animal Obsessed
Morgan McPherson
Digital Communications Director - Reawakening

Runner | Workout Enthusiast | Goldendoodle Mom | Wannabe Chef | Reader | Sports Fanatic | Peanut Butter Connoisseur
Adelyn Nottingham
Public Relations Director - Reawakening

Strategic Communications Major | Actress | Standup Comedian | Pizza lover | WVU
Tori Young
Research Director - Reawakening

Strategic Communications Major | Communications Minor | Corgi Enthusiast | WVU | Lover of Makeup | Shot Glass Collector
Sydney Haley
Digital Communications Director - Synergy Media

Strategic Communications | Emphasis in Public Relations | Web/tech enthusiast
Ryan McNamara
Media Planner & Buyer - Synergy Media

Born and raised in Philadelphia suburbs | Strategic Communications major
Caitlin Worrell
Creative Director - Synergy Media

Strategic Communications major with an emphasis in Public Relations
Erica Mayle
PR & Media Relations Director - Synergy Media

Strategic Communications major | #WVU | #ReedCollegeofMedia
Taylor Young
Research Director - Synergy Media

Strategic Communications major | Military brat |
Isabel Mora
Event Director - Synergy Media

New York girl | Advertising major in the WVU College of Media
#BrandWhitesville
Three groups of students working on a community branding capstone project under the supervision of Dr. Geah Pressgrove
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"Our mission is to motivate a small community of people that there is hope!"

- Isabel Mora, #BrandWhitesville Event Director

 

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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