HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Downtown business owners, the America’s Best Communities team, Marshall University and the City of Huntington had all been working separately on campaigns to promote the city. After learning they all shared the same interests, the groups came together and decided to start a movement– My Huntington.
During a press conference Monday at the Visual Arts Center in Huntington, the movement’s elements were unveiled.
The My Huntington Movement encourages residents and those who might reside elsewhere to share what they love about the city of Huntington, West Virginia. Stories are including aspects of Huntington’s innovation, economic development, beauty, opportunity and kindness.
Tyson Compton, president of the Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau, is on the My Huntington Committee and said he and the movement is working toward making the city as appealing as possible.
“My job is basically to sell Huntington, and we’re working outside the area to promote it and bring in tourists, people on vacation, bus groups, people who hold sporting events here, meetings and conventions,” he said. “So obviously the more vibrant and appealing your city is, the more likely we are to get those people here.”
Compton said like all cities Huntington has its fair share of problems, but that the My Huntington Movement can help combat those problems and the negativity associated with them.
“We just want to remind people, ‘Hey, Huntington is a good city because of this…,'” he said.
At the press conference on Monday, former City Council member Sandra Clements, Marshall University student Franklin Norton, and MacKenzie Morley, resident and owner of Kenzington Alley talked about their support for the effort. The three were joined by Huntington Mayor Steve Williams and Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert.
To get the My Huntington Movement kicked off and seen, advertisements have been made that will begin running this week on television, radio, newspaper and social media platforms. The commercials feature individuals who are part of the Huntington community sharing their stories and why they appreciate the city.
“We’re really encouraging other business owners, people who live or work in the city to share a positive story and include the hashtag ‘#MyHuntington’, even if it’s just a social media share on Facebook,” Compton said.
The My Huntington Movement is being funded through the My Huntington Fund established at the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, a non-profit created to improve quality of life in the community.
Compton said he wanted to remind people that this is so much more than a campaign.
“We want it to build slowly and just start to include people from all areas of the city, even those who may not live or work here but maybe they just come to visit,” he said. “They may have a great story to share.”
The My Huntington Movement is taking donations, and contributions can be made by contacting the Foundation for the Tri-State at 304-942-0046 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit www.myhuntingtonwv.com.
Story by Jordyn Johnson