Often times, one of the greatest challenges destinations face is fostering a sense of community pride among residents. Yet, destination marketing efforts are most often outwardly focused—targeting potential visitors with messages to make your destination appealing to them so that they will be inspired to plan a visit. However, there is tremendous value for people who live (and work) in your destination to also understand what makes your city great. Having this sort of pride about your own place inspires pro-social behavior—meaning; “a social behavior that benefit[s] other people or society as a whole”, “such as helping, sharing, donating, co-operating, and volunteering”. Fostering a sense of community pride increases the probability of locals sharing good vibes with their (in-person and online) networks—helping build positive brand awareness with an “insider’s” perspective.
Recently, Stamp was approached by the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce to work with their communications staff to produce a feel-good video about Montgomery. They wanted this video to be high-energy and multi-purpose, appealing to a wide range of target audiences—from residents, to meeting planners, to businesses being recruited to locate in Montgomery, and everyone in between.
In previous video projects for this Chamber, we have always featured their Executive Board members helping tell Montgomery’s story. While there is no doubt these individuals are seasoned business professionals who are all working hard to improve our local economy, they are not the folks that have created the unique, authentic, ground-level ecosystem of attractors that make a destination compelling to residents and visitors.
So, we set out to produce a video that would feature a cross-section of residents and local business owners describing what Montgomery is to them. The idea was to feature “real”, everyday people who loved Montgomery and who were actually “living out” their scripted line of Montgomery’s story. To that end, we carefully paired each line in the script with the most appropriate person we could identify to deliver that line. And in some cases, lines were even crafted for specific Montgomerians to deliver. And, since Montgomery is a very diverse community, accurately portraying that diversity was also paramount—doing it right meant that, regardless of who viewed the video, they would see themselves represented and subsequently, feel welcome.
Since the directive was that this video be fast-paced/high-energy, rather than showing long sections of B-roll during musical interludes between lines being delivered on camera, we decided to shoot each person in an environment that would reinforce the role they were playing in our success while simultaneously featuring Montgomery’s historical significance, it’s charm, progression, creativity, etc. By getting all this right, we would help to continue conveying the heart of Montgomery and the value ascribed to the city by the people who live and work here.
The video debuted during the annual Chamber Meeting with upwards of 500 people in attendance—and it was VERY well-received! Following its unveiling, the video was shared on social media by Stamp, the Montgomery Chamber, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, and by the local “cast” featured in the video. From our Facebook post alone, the video reached 11,260 people, received 78 likes, garnered 59 shares, and was viewed nearly 4,000 times—all within the first week! Multiplied by the exposure it generated through others that shared it, this project did what it set out to do—instill pride in the community and motivate residents and local business owners to share their pride with other people in their networks. You can view the video below.
If you would like to explore the possibility of undertaking a similar project to promote pride among local stakeholders and residents as well as act as an effective tool to attract potential visitors to your destination, reach out to me here.