ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) — A central Kentucky city has decided to move forward with an effort to brand itself and wants residents to participate.
Elizabethtown city officials, the Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau, the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Heritage Council and the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation are working together in an effort to come up with a brand.
Convention bureau director Sherry Murphy told The News-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/10gsdoJ) that a website has been set up to take input from residents on how they would describe the city, what it is best known for and how they want outsiders to describe it.
Murphy says public comments are being taken through March 15, and then will be reviewed for major themes.
"It's amazing how many times a general theme can (arise)," she said.
She said the Louisville-based firm New West will recommend branding elements the coalition should pursue.
The brand that is developed will be shared among the four organizations. Murphy said that such a unifying theme can assist in attracting events, industry or tourism to the city.
"It's a good idea to step back and get an idea of who you are," said Heath Seymour, executive director of the Heritage Council.
He said the hope is to use input from residents to guide the city in a certain direction. For instance, Hodgenville can focus on Lincoln, Bardstown on bourbon and Lexington on horses. He said Elizabethtown needs to define its high-profile characteristics.
He said Elizabethtown has been referred to as "hub city," but there could be other ideas to look into.
"Maybe it's time for something new or maybe it's time to look at that again," he said.
Murphy said she doesn't want to rush the project, but hopes to have a new brand picked out within a few months.
"When you're doing it for so many organizations, you want to make sure it is right for all of them," she said.
Rick Games, president of the industrial foundation, said having a unified brand can make it easier for people to find the area — especially if they are looking on the Internet.
"We still stay independent, but it will be easier or simpler to find by us (by a recognizable brand)," he said.
Information from: The News-Enterprise, http://www.thenewsenterprise.com