Chamber learns about branding

The Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce learned Wednesday about how marketing can be used to brand communities.

WV Living magazine’s Sandy Burky, an integrated marketing and advertising specialist, spoke about her work with the magazine during Wednesday’s meeting.

Burky, who is originally from the Helvetia-Pickens area, said the magazine is devoted to putting information about West Virginia out for others who may be visiting the area.

“We work very hard to promote, develop ideas, work with communities and get the stories out here to get the experiences out there to show other places who we really are here in West Virginia,” Burky said. “Some folks believe we are much like the ‘Duck Dynasty’ folks and we are. But there is a sophisticated and a polished side to West Virginia and we have been showcasing that for five years.”

Burky said she is dedicated to WV Living because part of its mission is to be a community development vehicle.

“Businesses need to come together and work together to develop a brand,” Burky said. “This helps bring people to the area to visit and spend money, and stay the night and spend money, and eat and spend money and shop and spend money.”

Burky cautioned businesses about not disappointing tourists.

“When you make a promise that you will be open or that you will offer something, you need to do that,” Burky said. “When folks come to visit and your shops are closed, we hear about that. You need to do what you say you are going to do.

Burky said WV Living is known for its Best of West Virginia contest.

“Elkins was voted the Best of West Virginia in the region,” Burky said. “Businesses need to capitalize on that – use that on flyers to get your brand out there. Also, the best festival parade in West Virginia in the survey was the Mountain State Forest Festival.”

Burky went through copies of the WV Living magazines and pointed out local businesses who were featured in the publication.

Wednesday’s meeting was held at the Randolph County Community Art Center in Elkins.

The next meeting of the Chamber of Commerce is slated for Sept. 11.