Village of Brown Deer Launches Social Networking Site as Part of Marketing Campaign

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Seeking to highlight its high quality of life, attractive business environment, and provide visitors with a warm, helpful welcome, the Village of Brown Deer has invited the Brown Deer community to get in on its branding campaign…by putting itself online.

Seeking to highlight its high quality of life, attractive business environment, and provide visitors with a warm, helpful welcome, the Village of Brown Deer (http://OurBrownDeer.com) has invited the Brown Deer community to get in on its branding campaign…by putting itself online.

“OurBrownDeer.com” is a social networking site that enables Brown Deer businesses and civic organizations to join as members, and add their business listings, events, and photos to the site. Residents of Brown Deer are also invited to join up and create personal pages on the site.

Russell Van Gompel, Brown Deer Village Manager, said the site is based on the free Ning platform. “Ning works much like Facebook, but we could customize the look for the OurBrownDeer.com campaign.” He adds, “Members can even post messages on their own personal pages, or on each other’s pages, and sign each other up as friends. People are already adding to the site, so get on board, register and add information.”

The site features an informational “Become a Brown Deer Brainiac” Trivia Quiz, (a new question is to be posted monthly), a photo slide show, interactive maps, event listings, an embedded YouTube video by the School District of Brown Deer, resources for realtors, and links to restaurants, lodging, attractions, and information sources. The slide show presents scenes from neighborhoods and parks, community events, and testimonials from business and civic leaders. Van Gompel notes, “We also feature information on the Brown Deer Foundation, and have the option to sell local advertising on the site down the road.”

Brochures will be distributed throughout the village to direct people to OurBrownDeer.com. Both the brochure and the web site were developed in a collaboration between Linda Goehre, a creative director/graphic designer who grew up in Brown Deer, and Robert Boehm, an advertising and marketing professional based in the North Shore. Goehre noted, “When we were awarded the brochure project, we approached it as a campaign in which we knew a landing page would play a central role. Our goal was to capture the beauty and spirit of the Village, direct people to more information at the landing page, reinforce the Village’s history and legacy as a North Shore Community, and provide the Village with a host of assets for future marketing efforts.”

She adds, “That involved developing a library of photos that can be used for a variety of purposes, interactive PDF street maps that can be printed, emailed, or viewed on the web, flyers and brochures that real estate agents can hand out at open houses or email, and more. All these assets work to provide a picture of the quality of life in Brown Deer, and ultimately help comprise the landing page, too.”

“The people in Brown Deer are great”, Goehre added, “everytime we asked for information, or permission to take a picture, people pitched in with enthusiasm. The Village Board and employees also were a great resource, and we appreciate their insight, feedback and guidance. It was a great team effort, that’s how the Village of Brown Deer gets things done.”

Goehre credits Kirk Strong, president of Smart Interactive Media (SIM), the company that built and hosts Brown Deer’s municipal government web site, for suggesting the Ning social networking platform. “Static sites can have such a packaged feel. The social networking approach makes the site lively and real. It adds a lot of fun, too. It was great to work with SIM, and fun collaborating with them. They did a great job programming OurBrownDeer.com.”

Visit http://OurBrownDeer.com

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Russell VanGompel
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