DU QUOIN — In an attempt to raise its profile both to potential residents and potential businesses, the city of Du Quoin recently finished a series of videos aimed at promoting all the the city has to offer.
Announced earlier this week, the series of nine videos highlights city services as well as the school system and Marshall Browning Hospital.
“We need to have something that promotes our town and our hospitals and our schools,” Mayor Guy Alongi said of the series. He said this thought is what spurred a conversation more than a year ago with Chuck Novak, his special projects director.
After batting around ideas, they eventually landed on producing a series of videos, and got the school district and hospital on board to help — those two plus the city evenly split the roughly $10,000 price tag, Novak said.
Alongi said having the hospital and school on board was essential.
“Those are the two main things they look for when they relocate,” he said.
Pam Logan, director of marketing and patient relations for Marshall Browning Hospital, said she thinks the videos go a long way toward helping tell Du Quoin’s story.
“The series of videos are an effective way to communicate the great resources available, the strong values, and tremendous community support that can be found in Du Quoin,” she said.
City officials hope that the series will be just another tool at their disposal to bring people to their community.
“People need to know what’s happening or what’s possible,” said Jeff Ashauer, the city’s economic development coordinator. He said these videos really will be useful when he’s courting new businesses.
“It doesn’t get any better than personalized little videos about what a community has to offer,” he said; capturing the spirit of a town or community aren’t always the easiest thing to do in words.
Bruce Baldwin, of Eldorado’s Baldwin Media Development, agreed with this point. He said capturing spirit is something video is good for, and having as many voices involved was key.
Next is getting the videos in front of people. Alongi and Novak said they are hopeful that using YouTube and the city’s website will help with the effort. They also purchased branded thumb drives with the videos uploaded — these are aimed specifically at potential developers.
Production for the project took about a year — Novak said they knew they wanted a variety of events and organizations included, which meant taking their time. They would have been remiss not to include the Du Quoin State Fair in the fall, but also wanted to make sure their holiday celebration was included, which meant they had Baldwin make several visits to town for interviews and filming.
Alongi and Novak said they hope these videos will start to shine the light on communities to the north and south of Carbondale — Novak pointed out that Illinois 13 gets a lot of love and development, but hopes other areas can get some attention, too.
“We are looking to develop this 51 corridor,” Novak said.