Originally, we wanted to create a site that showed Marietta was a microcosm of the United States. After gaining an understanding of each group members’ strengths, we decided a multi-media site would be the best way to showcase our talents, collectively and individually. We set out to try and create a diverse set of stories. However, we also wanted to make sure the set of stories would work together for a finished product.
In order to ensure we each knew what stories we were doing, we talked openly in class to give each other feedback and ideas.
Facebook has been an integral tool for our class as well. We made announcements on our Facebook page and wrote what we were working on. For example, when someone was looking for a story, people came together and collaborated to come up with an idea. When Mike Romeo was looking for a story, Gina Thompson was able to provide him with an idea on our Facebook page. She told him about the charity, Stars and Stripes, and he was able to shoot a video for his second project. We also used Facebook as an editing tool, posting the stories and videos. We came together and provided encouragement/feedback/criticism to make the stories better.
In the vein of our multimedia capabilities, we knew that we needed to stretch our many talents in an attempt to show the city in a variety of ways. We desired to use film to give our audience an interesting visual look into what Marietta is, as well as into the stories that make up the city. We also wrote stories and took photographs to ensure we have a multi-media website. After all of our stories are done, we will have a WordPress to showcase our “Marietta Experience.”
In order to make sure we were covering issues relevant to the city of Marietta, we arranged meeting with various people involved in the city. The first meeting was arranged with members of the City Council. As a group, we met at the City chambers and listened to their presentation. We learned things about their social media utilization, their power supply, their green efforts and much more. Group members Austin Smith and Maria Yanosky took photos during the meeting. Adrian Wehunt and Mike Romeo worked the boom mic and video camera. All members took diligent notes and participated by asking questions. A second meeting was held at DK Gallery, where Donna Kruger gave us insight on her side project, The Square Branding Project. We watched a PowerPoint presentation and learned of the many platforms the Square business owners used to communicate and organize. The third meeting was at MUST Ministries. We spoke to Kaye Cagle about what MUST Ministries does, as a charity, for the citizens of Marietta.
Tools We Used: WordPress, Facebook, (What our website will look like!!!) As a class, we used Facebook to organize the group work outside of class. In an effort to connect to the @cityofmarietta, we started a Twitter page where all group members had access. The Twitter page was our way of including the city in our process, linking them to our WordPress site. We also used a class wiki to collaborate and edit our work as we went along. The entire site is now here on a WordPress site for the world to view, enjoy, and critique our work.
Our individual talents and what we hope to see in the final product:
Austin Smith: My passions are for all things visual. I very much enjoy video, with all it’s components from getting the right shot to post production, and everything in between. I also love photography and graphic design. I’m thankful to have some great past experience that allowed me to use these skills in this class. I believe that people are drawn to things that are visual… things that are flashy and grab attention. For this project, I hope the work of this class can grab people’s attention for this issues/current affairs/positive aspects of the city of Marietta, Georgia. This class for me personally has been a chance to hone in on the skills I already have, but also develop skills that I lack, such as writing, news-gathering, and interviewing. So far, in both news pieces that I have completed, I have had to step out of my comfort zone. For example, in my second project about public housing, I performed over four interviews where I had to get out from behind camera (where I definitely am more comfortable) and try to obtain the stories from my interviewees that were coherent and made sense, and allowed for my public housing story to be meaningful. This meant coming prepared for an interview with good questions and good people skills, and not relying on anyone else to ask the questions you want answers to.
Maria Yanovsky: Coming from a design/ creative background, I jumped at the opportunity to create a magazine filled with the photos and stories by the group members. As a part of the third final project, I organized the written content into a pageoning magazine. Using Calameo, a plugin and the WordPress software, the magazine can become virtually “flip-able” and will fit into the Web site with no download required. Also, to provide students with physical portfolio pieces, the magazine will be available for print-on-demand through Magcloud.com services. As one of my interests, I like to constantly explore the future of the publishing industry and learn new tools of the trade. Magcloud is a good tool for journalism students to learn to use because it has been dubbed the future of publishing by many professionals. Also, sites like Calameo allow for simple PDF publishing online. Using tools like this broadens our horizons as writers/ editors/ and designers. I also contributed some writing and photography to the project. I photographed our meeting with the City Council members in Marietta. I brought the camera along for our ride through various neighborhoods surrounding the Square, and shot some photos on our tour. I photographed Dupre’s for a photo essay/ editorial piece, and various business owners in Marietta Square. I wrote a profile on Dupre’s, wrote a feature on how businesses such as the Australian Bakery were using social media platforms to expand their brands. In addition, I worked with the social media platforms and the WordPress site. I built our make-shift WordPress blog before we switched to the final site. I showed other group members how to post to a WordPress site, something that most writers need to be familiar with. I posted events/ updates/ links to the Facebook page that we used to communicate with each other. I also started up the Twitter and tried to show others the advantages to having a Twitter account. Many of my interests are in PR and Marketing and I feel like I contributed to that as part of the final piece.
Mike Romeo: For me, there is really not one specific area that I would call myself “exceptional” in, so I have been using this class, and the format to expand and work in different areas. So far I have done a written story, and a video story. Both of which have pushed my comfort and also my abilities. I was never a big fan of simply writing a story without any video to accompany it. Having to work in different medians has made me look at Marietta in a different view. The hardest thing for me personally, was to think outside the box and not do what is expected. In my second video project, instead of doing a typical stand-up piece, I took a more narrative style. The way in which we are going to go about getting people to talk to us as journalists, we are using social media platforms to get in contact with businesses and the city through Facebook and Twitter. Although most of the interviews conducted throughout the project were in-person, we’ve used Facebook and Twitter to ask questions, get premeditated feedback and stay up-to-date with current events in town. Before the second story, I did not have a clear idea of what my story would be. On Facebook I asked the class for story ideas, and almost instantly had ideas that helped me pick a story.
Curtis Cosby: My biggest passion is video production. I like all the aspects of it from the thought process of shots to the final production touches and what can be accomplished through that medium. I hope that I have contributed newsworthy stories that will enhance the site the class will have put together. I hope that this entire effort is very intriguing to anyone who comes across it and that they are more educated on Marietta and what it has to offer and how we were able to bring those stories to light. We had many instances that made us think on our feet such as when interviews fell through at the last minute and we had to make the story without them or when a video had a glitch at the time it was due and it had to be fixed.
Gina Thompson: I am a strong writer and feel that this project has been a great opportunity to work on my writing skills as well as my reporting skills. I want to use this opportunity to tell stories of people and places in Marietta that the public might not come across in another publication. I am always interested in what different businesses and organizations do and who is behind them. I chose to spotlight a bakery on Marietta Square, not just because it was a business that existed in Marietta, but because the owner was a 23-year-old who had just started her own business. I also wanted to give a glimpse into a food trend and where it may be heading. I also featured a program run by the City of Marietta that helps lower-income residents with home repairs. This program, I found out, is not well-known enough and residents of Marietta should be made aware so that they may be able to take advantage of this amazing program. My final article is about buying and eating local food. This article gives a glimpse to the public about why it’s important to know where your food comes from as well as who is getting that food to you.
What makes Marietta a great place is that it has so many undiscovered pockets, and I like the idea that we as a class are helping to expose these little nooks and crannies that make up the city.
Ross Turner: My roots are in radio and voice projection. I am also great at developing audio bytes for promotional and show purposes for radio. I am extremely experienced in handling and organizing social events. I didn’t get to utilize these talents for this project per se, albeit I did get to learn and watch other people perform in videography and photography-mainly during our class visits to Marietta’s City Hall, MustMinistries, and the ReBranding Project Interview/Presentation.
One area that I learned that I do not have a penchant for is developing interview questions. Normally I am use to having guests come on my radio show, Monday Night Metal, and exchange in a free flow of ideas and converse without a definite or finite purpose, other than promoting their band or music. During this project I had to establish an agenda and follow through on it no matter what the level of interest I had in the subject personally. I had to work extra hard to remove my self-interests from the stories I was covering and search for answers to questions I personally didn’t feel interested in knowing.
For a finished product I would like to see a collaborative piece of work that resembles an online magazine/newspaper incorporating visual, audio, and written elements that will allow a person to digest the news as they see fit. With the online medium becoming increasingly competitive it is incumbent on our class to present a finished product that appeals to all the senses of the audience.
The best part of this project and the most eye-opening experience has been sitting in on the town meeting that determined the height requirement for Marietta Square. I was able to observe how citizens, not unlike anyone you or I would know, were able to convey their opinions in an open forum and execute change in public policy. I finally witnessed civic interaction that invoked change. I would recommend anyone that wants to learn a bit more local government or how citizens may flex their community muscle to inquire about local or state government meetings and sit in on them.
Adrian Wehunt: I know that my best work is in video and editing, and I want to use these skills to shine a vibrant, yet newsworthy light on the City of Marietta and showcase the city’s unique developments. In the beginning, the final product was viewed solely as an execution of the modern achievements of the city and how it is a “city in development.” While the final product will echo this sentiment, the project itself seems to have evolved over this semester into a conscious look at the city’s epicenter: Glover park. The city is truly a microcosm, but one of a lush past that has paved a future all it’s own. Marietta’s prominence in the Civil War and it’s recognition as the Cobb County seat establishes its importance to not only Cobb County, but to the state as well. What I have learned through this project, is that while the city is its own entity, the park itself is prominent in not only a historical sense, but also in the sense of business. Most of the primary goings-on for Marietta seems to stem directly from the Square, which has become the ‘face’ of Marietta. I hope to capture this relationship and significance in our finished product.
Annie Snead: I personally wanted to become a better journalist by getting out and into the community. I feel I have accomplished this by speaking to the people of Fort Hill Homes in their personal spaces. Talking to people in their element is one of my strong points and I believe I was able to strengthen these skills while working on these projects. Presenting the news on a multi-media platform was another goal of mine. Through this class I believe I have accomplished this by participating in our social networking site. I was able to use Facebook to announce the meeting I made with Must Ministries. The projects I completed were also posted on Facebook. I believe social networking is the future for media. This class, as a whole, has involved ourselves in the social networking tools used by the media.
Notes from the DK Gallery meeting with Donna Kruger regarding Historic Marietta Branding Project.
The Branding Project
Historic- Downtown- Marietta- Square
no long-term marketing plan
merchants are working to do what they can
THE BRAND- pooling all resources
ATTRACT MORE DIVERSE BUSINESSES- Better and stronger
WHAT? $2000 contribution in Spring of 2010
A non-profit organization needed to establish to accept these funds and organize the marketing efforts (started to accept the funds)
Defined as Glover Park and a three block radius in all directions. 650 businesses.
The mission: Raise revenue, promote and brand the square
A thriving, culturally-rich destination experience in Metro Atlanta
NOT a business association
Not replacing other associations
NOT social/ business networking group.
NOT a grievance center, political arena, event planning organization.
HIRE professionals to do these things
501 C6 b organized by Tom Cauthorn pro bono 8 members
WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?
Branding project commitment membership $100/year
Two new ongoing events with revenue generation
City/ DMDA funding
Professional, strategic marketing support & branding campaign for HISTORIC DOWNTOWN MARIETTA including PR and Advertising
Exciting new media opportunities
Quarterly restaurant promotion consultation
Launched by early 2011
Phase 1- Brand and Web development
Catalyst and engine for everything. Merchant-driven so we need incentives.
Web site is the engine, social media drives everything.
How many businesseS? 35 have been picked up
City hall full support
10 percent- hopes. See things happening? Folks are just resistant.
City was excited- DMDA ReDeveloping- Interest? The city has already bought into it that they have already paid the agency to do a rollout for Lockheed. They’ve taken that and put it into our branding campaign. Keeps it usable and sustainable. Creative concept? Unique PHOTOGRAPHY.
Phase 2- East and West Cobb: Media and PR
Branding: Thebrandingproject.com, historicdowntownmarietta.com.
Height committee. Width of streets/ sunlight coming in. Energy efficient.
Sherman used the Kennesaw House for hospitals.
REACH OUR NEIGHBORS– We want people to actually come- start a conversation- we want people to come here EVERYDAY. Viable shopping destination.
Zenith design group
We needed to look at this from a long standing project, successful project over time. Communicate to our merchants. What’s branding all about? Don’t get stuck on the word. How do we communicate that?
It effects how we do everything.
Downtown more progressive than square.
Fanning Institute “Downtowns should be treated like any economic enterprise or new industry…”
SIGNIFICANT PRIVATE AND PUBLIC INVESTMENT, AS BRANDS FOR A CITY AND COUNTY, AS JOB CREATORS… – fanning
portray entire downtown area
stimulate economic development
Again, viable business source.
So many people are discovering that historic downtown Marietta is the place to be.
Marietta is the place to be. With all that’s going on, shouldn’t you be here now?
Educationally based Artists’ Market
JazzFeast finest restaurants
Bonnie Revus? Designed logos, campaigns.
6 months. Actively.
Twitter? Audience- Facebook, not Tweeting. Geo-specific. Certain markets. Antiques. Neighbors.
Culturally rich destination experience
Photos from our meeting with Marietta City representatives. Click to see albums!
Left photo by Maria Yanovsky/ Right photo by Austin Smith.