Why Page County
ABOUT THE #WHYPAGECOUNTY CAMPAIGN
The #WHYPageCounty campaign aims to promote the county as an ideal place to live, work and invest in. Prioritizing the importance of strong imagery in effective marketing, the campaign was launched by the Page County Office of Economic Development and Tourism at the end of the second quarter of 2021. Videography captured through the campaign is used to create compilation and story-driven video shorts that are rolled out through Facebook and featured prominently on the new visitor website pagevalley.org.
#WHYPageCounty captures the stories of local business owners, professionals, community organizations and residents with the objective of serving as a quality-of-life piece for current and future residents and professionals. Quality of life facets include health and wellness, relationships, education, work environment, public service, community belonging and the natural beauty of the Shenandoah Valley. Subjects featured in the video stories are asked to reflect on one or more of these facets with the goal of inspiring and supporting economic growth and community pride.
Subjects are selected by staff through conversations, meetings and recommendations from community members. The selection process considers location, longevity, business development and expansion, community engagement, heritage and history and storytelling. For example, the W. Luray Recreation Center was selected for its ties to Page County’s history, education, health and wellness and community engagement, while Tactical Walls was chosen based on business retention and expansion and its overall impact on Page County’s economy.
Once a subject is selected, a staff member reaches out to that subject to facilitate an introduction with The Downtown Creative (TDC), the economic development and tourism office’s content team. Some subjects decline to participate, but those who agree to be featured coordinate directly with a member of TDC to schedule a shoot date and interview.
Staff members work with the content team to determine interview topics, themes, visual aesthetics and each story’s key message. Both photography and videography are captured at each shoot, with TDC providing images shortly after filming before submitting a draft version of the video story. Staff review the draft videos and provide editing insights as needed. Final stories are shared on Page County’s official Facebook page and garner the page’s highest engagement rate. Stories and images are additionally shared with participants at no cost, with many businesses and organizations opting to use the images in their individual marketing and social media campaigns.
In 2022 the #WHYPageCounty campaign evolved to begin including tourism-focused stories as the economic development and tourism office proactively began capturing and collecting content for a new visitor website, as well as county-wide marketing efforts. The experience-driven stories promote and feature activities, attractions, events, agritourism, lodging, food and drink options, seasonal splendor and outdoor recreation and relaxation. Subjects featured in these video stories showcase Page as a premier overnight destination for families, couples, professionals and friend groups from a wide range of demographics.
To better promote and more effectively market the beauty of Page County, its three small towns and the unincorporated community of Rileyville — where many visitors choose to lodge during their stay — the brand “Page Valley, Virginia” was developed in recognition of Page’s rich history and heritage, unique geography within the Shenandoah Valley and natural beauty in four seasons. As a result, the #WHYPageCounty campaign branched out to form the tourism-focused #VisitPageValley campaign.
All videos and images captured through the #WHYPageCounty and #VisitPageValley campaigns are funded by Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) — lodging tax paid by guests at hotels, motels, cabins and other short-term vacation rentals outside of a town limit in Page County. The campaigns have additionally been awarded grant funding by the Virginia Tourism Corp.
CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES AND OUTCOMES
While target audiences vary between the two campaigns, common objectives are twofold:
• support Page Valley tourism and Page County businesses and organizations that deliver economic value, vitality and growth to the county and its three towns.
• foster and bolster a sense of community pride that celebrates Page’s people, culture, industries, businesses, achievements and natural beauty.
Pride for Page remains at the forefront. Community pride is a critical factor in the development and improvement of any locality. Residents with community pride are more likely to speak positively about their county and its businesses and offerings to others, including visitors, fellow residents and potential investors.
The campaigns ultimately promote community pride by celebrating the things that make Page County special. These things can be as “big” as a top-employing manufacturer in the county or as “small” as a seasonal lunch special at a local eatery made with Page Valley-grown ingredients. Whatever a video story’s subject, it aims to teach both locals and visitors more about Page and all it has to offer.