#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.
Geah Pressgrove, Ph.D.

Faculty Leader Bike Rider | Digital Communications Nerd | Rower Wannabe | Researcher | Outdoor Enthusiast | Professor

Hannah Cebula
Hannah Cebula

Account Executive - Team Metamorphasis Strategic Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations

Marina Belfiore
Marina Belfiore

Account Executive - Team Reawakening Strategic Communications Major | Leader | Adrenaline Junkie | PR Enthusiast | Detroit Red Wings Fan

Gabby Russillo
Gabby Russillo

Account Executive - Team Synergy Media Advertising Major | Outdoor/Travel Enthusiast

Tori Brown
Tori Brown

Public Relations Director - Metamorphasis Strategic Communications and Business Administration

Melissa Decker
Melissa Decker

Digital Media Director - Metamorphasis Strategic Communications with an emphasis in Advertising | Communication Studies |

Megan Hardway
Megan Hardway

Research Director - Metamorphasis Strategic Communications | PR | #WVU

Ali McLaughlin
Ali McLaughlin

Media Buyer - Metamorphasis Strategic Communications | Theatre

Amy Petrakis
Amy Petrakis

Event Planner - Metamorphasis Strategic Communications Major | Business Administration Minor

Allyson Whelan
Allyson Whelan

Creative Director - Metamorphasis Strategic Communications Senior | Future Wedding Planner | Beach Girl

Alli Daniels
Alli Daniels

Event Director - Reawakening Strategic communications | communications minor | Dachshund lover | travel enthusiast | Pittsburgh Penguins fan

Elizabeth Freeman
Elizabeth Freeman

Creative Director - Reawakening Napper | Entertainment nerd | Drake lover | WVU Student

Danielle Knebal
Danielle Knebal

Media Buyer - Reawakening Strategic Communications | Communications Minor | Food Lover | Animal Obsessed

Morgan McPherson
Morgan McPherson

Digital Communications Director - Reawakening Runner | Workout Enthusiast | Goldendoodle Mom | Wannabe Chef | Reader | Sports Fanatic | Peanut Butter Connoisseur

Adelyn Nottingham
Adelyn Nottingham

Public Relations Director - Reawakening Strategic Communications Major | Actress | Standup Comedian | Pizza lover | WVU

Tori Young
Tori Young

Research Director - Reawakening Strategic Communications Major | Communications Minor | Corgi Enthusiast | WVU | Lover of Makeup | Shot Glass Collector

Sydney Haley
Sydney Haley

Digital Communications Director - Synergy Media Strategic Communications | Emphasis in Public Relations | Web/tech enthusiast

Ryan McNamara
Ryan McNamara

Media Planner & Buyer - Synergy Media Born and raised in Philadelphia suburbs | Strategic Communications major

Caitlin Worrell
Caitlin Worrell

Creative Director - Synergy Media Strategic Communications major with an emphasis in Public Relations

Erica Mayle
Erica Mayle

PR & Media Relations Director - Synergy Media Strategic Communications major | #WVU | #ReedCollegeofMedia

Taylor Young
Taylor Young

Research Director - Synergy Media Strategic Communications major | Military brat |

Isabel Mora
Isabel Mora

Event Director - Synergy Media New York girl | Advertising major in the WVU College of Media

#BrandWhitesville
#BrandWhitesville

Three groups of students working on a community branding capstone project under the supervision of Dr. Geah Pressgrove

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| Not listed: WVU grad student Courtney Gatto and Synergy Media Buyer Alexandra McShane. |

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"Our mission is to motivate a small community of people that there is hope!"

- Isabel Mora, #BrandWhitesville Event Director