A new marketing campaign is in the works for the City of Neligh and has two fresh faces working on the project.
Jessica Remaly and Alyssa Dye, both seniors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, are spending eight weeks working in the Neligh Economic Development Office this summer as interns through the Rural Futures Institute. They began last week.
Neligh is just one of four communities to participate in the internship program this summer. Other towns are Kimball, Ord and Valentine. Ptacek said 12 communities applied for the partnership.
“I’m very excited to have partnered with the Rural Futures Institute,” said Greg Ptacek, Neligh Economic Development Director. “The City of Neligh received a matching grant to make this possible. Jessica and Alyssa will be spending a lot of their time on a new marketing project and a community survey.”
The marketing project, called “This Is MY Neligh,” will be released next month, but the women are already well on their way with production. They are using video cameras, including GoPro cameras, to record video through the eyes of residents and how they see Neligh.
“We’re giving a first-person perspective to showcase the high quality of life in Neligh,” Dye said.
Video has been recorded at the swimming pool, baseball fields and even while driving through Neligh with a camera duct-taped to the hood of their car. Lots more footage will be taken for the nearly 20 videos they plan to create, Ptacek said.
“We’ll have videos on YouTube, the City of Neligh Facebook page, Neligh.org and lots of websites,” he said. “We’ll start releasing the videos in mid-July. Part of their internship project is marketing the release, so they’ll be busy getting the information out to the appropriate channels.”
Ptacek said the idea for the project came during a Rural Futures Institute workshop he attended. He said the idea of using GoPro cameras seemed like an ideal avenue to show what Neligh has to offer in a medium that will attract a younger demographic to the community.
“That’s what’s great about having Jessica and Alyssa,” Ptacek said. “They provide fresh perspective and ideas that work with the Marketing Hometown America project. What better way to attract a younger generation than by having that younger generation help build the campaign.”
Ptacek also said the interns are having participants sign release forms. Children may come home from events, including the swimming pool, with forms that need to be signed in order for them to be included in any of the promotion. Those forms need to be returned to the Economic Development office.
While in Neligh, the two interns are staying with Dane and Jennifer Blackburn-Nielsen. Remaly is a graduate of Gretna and is majoring in hospitality, restaurant and tourism management while Dye is an Alliance graduate and is majoring in agriculture education-leadership and ethnic studies.
Both women are from the state, but they bring different perspectives to the community since Remaly hails from a military family and has only lived in Nebraska the last eight years. In fact, Remaly calls herself a “Nebraska convert” since her family no longer lives in the state.
Remaly said she had never heard of Neligh before the internship while Dye was familiar with the community and has friends in Northeast Nebraska. Still, Dye said she was pleasantly surprised by Neligh.
“Neligh has a lot more amenities to offer than I thought it would. Alliance has 10,000 people, and I think Neligh has more to offer,” she said. “I really love Neligh so far. It reminds me a lot of home.”
Remaly also said she’s enjoying her time in Neligh and hopes to eventually work in a similar community.
“It’s a really safe place,” she said. “I’ve lived lots of places, and this is the first one I’ve felt like I can leave doors unlocked. People come and go; kids ride their bikes on the sidewalks. This is a great place.”
And that’s what the interns are trying to capture with the “This is MY Neligh” marketing promotion.
But they’re not in Neligh just for that project. Ptacek said the interns are also helping with a community survey and are available for volunteer opportunities with various organizations.