Town leaders are looking at increasing its budget for its one-person communications team almost seven-fold to be prepared for the completion of implementation of a new branding initiative.
Knightdale’s Communications Director, Brian Bowman, asked the town for $20,000 to pay for new digital advertising and replacing official town signage to show off the new town logo.
"This is an investment, not an expense," said Mayor Russell Killen to the town’s Finance Committee last month when Bowman presented the request. "We only get one chance to make a first impression."
The town will continue to use its own website and social media, which will not incur any new costs.
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“We plan to use a mix of paid, owned and earned media ... ,” Bowman said. “Paid media will include traditional advertising; we're still determining which outlets would be most effective for that.”
Bowman’s original request to the Finance Department listed money for advertising with WRAL's website, a trade show as well as online through Google and Facebook.
He said those are not set in stone and ultimately, the council can decide where the advertising money is best spent. Those were Bowman’s top choices. Bowman is a former reporter for WRAL-TV.
In addition to seeing and hearing more about Knightdale outside the community, residents will get to see the proposed $20,000 at work in town.
The amount of money requested also has to pay to replace anything with the town’s logo to show the new one.
Most notably, Bowman said, will be a new sign at Town Hall. The town will have new banners for events as well.
Smaller items, like paper products, will make the switch to display the new logo “at some point,” Bowman said.
“We use less printed letterhead than we used to, so this cost should be relatively small,” he said.
Knightdale began the new branding process in 2013, with Town Council approving $90,000 over the next two years to revamp items like town colors, logo and marketing slogan.
North Star Destination Strategies, a Tennessee-based independent branding company, is handling the project and has circulated surveys and conducted interviews with residents.
Branding visuals, like the logo, will be unveiled at the Knightdale Business Expo on June 17.