Home » Edelman and Powell/Tate Join Efforts to Improve Image of Charlottesville, Va

Edelman and Powell/Tate Join Efforts to Improve Image of Charlottesville, Va

by | Aug 31, 2017

“An effort to help Charlottesville’s image and its businesses recover from the violent and fatal Aug. 12 white supremacist rally will include ads, hashtags and publicity campaigns emphasizing that the city “stands for love.””, states a media report, which added that “members on the campaign design team warned that the words must be backed by actions that address minority community concerns.

“Efforts at repairing the city’s image include a three-tiered marketing plan that includes the phrase “Cville Stands For Love” and using #standforlove on the internet through the Virginia Tourism Corporation. The idea is to get the slogan and hashtag to go viral, said Susan Payne, of the Blue Ridge Group, an advertising agency based downtown.

 Payne said she’s heard of businesses taking loans to make payroll costs and wait staff tips dropping from $200 to $20 a night.

““The goal is to take the bad images of Charlottesville we’ve all seen and replace them with good images in the newspapers,” Payne said. “There are many businesses suffering from the images, and we want this to go viral to help change that.”

“But addressing the concerns of the disadvantaged and minorities needs to be an equal priority, members said. As proof, they pointed to angry responses from residents at recent town hall meetings and the takeover of the City Council’s Aug. 21 meeting.

“There are a whole lot of people who don’t want to go back to Charlottesville pre-Aug. 12,” said businesswoman and team member Yolanda Armstrong Harrell. “If we don’t get some reconciliation, we are going to prolong the pain and we are going to prolong the hurt. If you have people tearing us apart on social media because they don’t feel like their concerns have been addressed, the effort is going to have an enemy within.”

“The campaign committee, known as the Charlottesville Recovery Team, includes Payne, Harrell, Mayor Mike Signer, City Councilor Wes Bellamy, City Manager Maurice Jones and Del. David J. Toscano, D-Charlottesville, as well as local business leaders.

“To help spread the message, the recovery team includes representatives of Washington, D.C., public relations firm Powell/Tate, the same company hired by the city amid the July 8 Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and Aug. 12 Unite the Right rallies.

“Another member is the international advertising firm Edelman, which handles a variety of social initiatives and clients such as Barilla pasta, Arby’s and United Airlines.”

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