GREENSBURG – Purdue University public relations students have again worked with the city of Greensburg to implement a strategic communication campaign for the community.

According to information provided by the Greensburg-Decatur County Economic Development Corporation and Purdue University, throughout their fall semester the students aimed to increase the engagement rate on Visit Greensburg and Main Street Greensburg Facebook pages, and increase site visits on the Economic Development Corporation website.

The campaign is part of a program called iFrontDoor, a partnership of the Purdue Center for Regional Development with the Brian Lamb School of Communication and Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication.

The purpose of iFrontDoor is to teach local communities how to manage and maintain a positive and reputable online footprint, according to Purdue.

Greensburg-Decatur County EDC Executive Director Bryan Robbins spoke about the importance of maintaining a working online presence.

“The first step when people are thinking about living or working in Greensburg is Googling the area,” Robbins said. “This year, they focused on how we can interact better on social media and those aspects. They’ve been sending us ideas on what to post and also brand the area. It’s been a good partnership.”

Robbins said the team of students helped draft social media posts, along with specific times they should be posted.

“These outside perspectives are very valuable,” Robbins said.

In a statement issued to the Daily News, Purdue said in order to meet the campaign’s objectives the students completed a series of strategy based tactics. Among these tactics were a search engine optimization guide for the economic development site, a social media content calendar for community Facebook pages, and new community hashtags #OnlyInGreensburg and #TreeCityWeekends.

Next semester, the campaign will be continued by a new group of Purdue students who will create and implement new tactics to improve Greensburg’s overall online presence.

One student from Purdue said the project was challenging, but also helped build much-needed skillsets that can be used down the road.

“Being able to work with PCRD and iFront Door has allowed me to gain hands-on, public relations campaign experience,” said Emily Sclafani, a senior at Purdue University. “The campaign my team built for Greensburg challenged me to think in creative, tactical ways instilling new techniques into my skillset to use once I enter the professional world.”

Executive Director of Decatur County Visitors Commission Philip Deiwert offered his thoughts on the significance of the partnership.

“This has been an incredibly valuable process that has brought to light several issues we were not previously aware of, and with the help of the students, enabled us to come up with strategies to help resolve those issues,” Deiwert said.

It might be difficult to put into words just how important this is for the city. As they continue on their mission to attract more residents, building their online presence could be another step in the right direction.

“You have to make an effort to portray yourself in the way you’d like, from pictures you post to quotes you post,” Robbins said. “When people search or Google Greensburg, Indiana, you want the right recommendations to pop up. We’re learning and we’re moving forward. This is a great partnership and thanks to Purdue for considering us.”

Joshua Heath can be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or at joshua.heath@greensburgdailynews.com

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