Lattimer Communications President Sarah Lattimer and her team helped build the “There’s Only One Albany” marketing campaign that will start Monday. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)
ALBANY — Invited guests, including the local “actors” who were featured in radio and television spots that will start airing locally Monday, were given a sneak peak at the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission/Lattimer Communications’ “There’s Only One Albany” marketing campaign Wednesday at the Albany Museum of Art.
EDC President Justin Strickland invited those present to “be in the band” as the campaign kicks off.
“We’re trying to shift the conversation about Albany and Dougherty County,” Strickland told a gathering of around 100 guests. “We’re trying to move the needle a little bit. We happen to think Albany is one of the greatest places to live, work and play.”
The TV and radio ads, which premiered during the campaign preview, featured local citizens talking about the good things in Albany. Print ads, billboard displays and light pole banners were also unveiled, and Strickland said online and digital components of the plan will feature a micro site at OnlyOneAlbany.com.
Sarah Lattimer, the president of Atlanta-based Lattimer Communications, said she was excited to see the results of her team’s two years of work with EDC staff.
“It was thrilling to see the response of the people here,” Lattimer said. “We’ve been working on this project for a long time — two years — and to have that work validated by everyone’s applause today was a thrill. Working with the people at the EDC has been a wonderful experience for us.”
Lattimer said her work in Albany left her with a much different feeling about the community than when she came here.
“I’d never been to All-benny before we started work on this project, and I’ll admit I had preconceived notions about the community,” she said. “When I got here, though, I was blown away, by the people, the restaurants, the places to go, the hospitality. All together, they made this a wonderful campaign. It quit being a job for us.
“As we did the initial research, there was a lot of negative coming through. But I’m excited about the possibility of seeing the needle move the other way once we get this campaign going. Rebranding a community, changing people’s perceptions, takes time. But I think we’re set to see some positive results.”
Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany Commander Col. Don Davis encouraged the audience to get behind the campaign.
“I’m proud of you guys for what you’ve done,” Davis said. “And what Justin said about being in the band is essential. If you feel that your elected representatives aren’t representing you, call them. For too long, the leaders of this community have been silent.
“Something like this only works if you get behind it 100 percent, not 98 percent. This is important to you, to your community. I’m only here for a season, but y’all are here forever.”
Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard said she is excited to see the campaign get under way.
“This campaign is so important because it’s based on what we as Albany citizens have to say about ourselves,” the mayor said. “I like the idea that they used a lot of young people in this campaign, too. We really need something to get our young folks excited about Albany.”
Strickland said the There’s Only One Albany campaign will kick off Monday and continue through the end of the year.