I've been researching several Eastern Kentucky towns to possibly relocate to, if and when my husband begins a new job in Georgetown. The hiring process is long so it gives me time to do a lot of research on various towns. I enjoy looking at what other cities are doing and what their issues are. I've found that the issues are pretty much the same wherever you go. I've also learned that some cities are much better at promoting their town via the Internet than others.
I've looked at Georgetown, Lexington, Frankfort, Versailles, and Richmond. Since my research has been done entirely online, I thought I'd share and give some advice to all cities out there looking to attract residents.
I doubt I'm the only one who uses the Internet to weed out cities I'd want to stay clear of, and ones I think would be a good fit for my interests. The online hunt is probably very common, especially for college grads looking to relocate after graduation. So here goes my advice.
Chamber of Commerce golf outings don't impress me, so stop putting those pictures so prominently on a city's webpage. I don't golf and I'm not snooty. Seeing pictures of the Who's Who of Whoville doesn't impress me. I sure don't want to see a photo of local city council members wooing me to their fair city. Most of you are really goofy looking and I just want to see the city!
Show me pictures and lots of them. Show me videos of the downtown, shopping centers, neighborhoods, parks, schools, historical sites, the surrounding countryside, and other nearby attractions. Show the town's personality and character. Show me what's right because I can read the local newspapers to find out what's wrong.
Versailles has a friendly, welcoming website. That means a lot. If you dig enough, Richmond has a lot of great information on their city's website, but I'd advise Richmond to revise their home page. (If you look at it, you'll know why.) You have a beautiful city. Show it! Luckily, Richmond's tourism site does a good job of marketing the area right from its' home page.
Lexington's tourism group does a very good job promoting their city. VisitLex is a great looking website. They have a YouTube Channel with several videos about local people, and a good social media presence.
Honestly, what impressed me the most about any of the cities was a Facebook group of Richmond citizens just conversing about their city. They seemed nice and normal. Reading comments from everyday people just having a good sense of humor about their city, was more attracting than all the promotional marketing any city could do.
I don't even know if we're going to move. I'm leaning against it but we'll see. Whatever the case, I'm learning a lot looking at so many other cities, and how good or bad of an image they present to the rest of the world.
What I have learned the most though...every city needs a local, independent, beloved blogger. We're awesome! I haven't found my exact, twin counterpart in any other city but I'll keep looking.