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KathodeRay is a full-service marketing agency that connects government organizations to their community. This small (but mighty) woman-owned and operated marketing agency can help your community thrive. They use tried and true methods to connect your organization to your residents using social, digital, and traditional media.
In this episode of the Econ Dev Show podcast Dane talks with Deb Brown, co-founder of SaveYour.Town.
Deb shares insights from her decades of experience working with rural communities. She explains how inclusive community engagement through activities like vacant building tours can generate excitement and empower community members to create change.
Deb emphasizes the power of positivity and storytelling to shift mindsets from despair to envisioning new possibilities. Her "idea friendly" method involves gathering a crowd of supporters, building connections, and testing small ideas to build momentum. Deb stresses the importance of involving all community members, especially youth, in decision-making and seeking their input on what they want for the community's future. She provides examples of how small-scale efforts like pop-up shops and placemaking projects have catalyzed economic growth.
Ultimately, Deb argues that rural development must be community-driven and bottom-up rather than relying on external solutions. Her inspirational approach focuses on harnessing a community's assets through grassroots action.
Ten Key Takeaways:
- Engage the whole community inclusively - have conversations to understand what all groups want, especially youth.
- Use storytelling and positivity to shift mindsets from despair to envisioning possibilities.
- Spotlight assets like vacant buildings through tours and events - turn "bugs" into features.
- Empower community members to take ownership of solutions through grassroots efforts.
- Test small ideas frequently to build momentum and learn fast.
- Gather a crowd of supporters and build connections to turn ideas into action.
- Take small steps and foster quick wins to show change is possible.
- Involve newcomers and welcome their ideas to stay open to new solutions.
- Adapt solutions by starting hyper-locally and niche ideas to any town size.
- Focus on inclusive processes, not big external fixes - change comes from within.
- Tour of Empty Buildings | Deb Brown | TEDxBrookings - YouTube — Communities of any size have the potential to turn empty spaces into vibrant hubs. In this innovative talk, Deb Brown shares how a tour of empty buildings have transformed her community and how similar efforts can be used in our own communities.
- Deb Brown from SaveYour.Town and Mayor Sharon Frerichs talk about Akron, Iowa - YouTube — Deb was in Akron two years ago for an Embedded Community Experience. Watch as Sharon and Deb discuss all the wonderful things that have occurred since that visit. Attitude in town kicked off all the small steps and projects started by lots of people.
- Developing Resilient Communities Idea Friendly Method Limestone Bluffs RCD - YouTube
- #SMTULSA SIX STEPS TO WORKING BIGGER with Deb Brown - YouTube
- Deb & Becky Keynote End of Rural X - YouTube
- Workspace Discussion - How Do You Start One? - YouTube
- Innovative Rural Business Models - YouTube
- Five Cheap Downtown Placemaking Ideas - Building Possibility
- Christmas tree lights don't always have to be matchy matchy in your downtown - Building Possibility
- Do we rebuild? - Building Possibility
- Thursday with Townsel in Letcher County, KY - Building Possibility
- Advice to those working in small towns - Building Possibility
- Small Towns or Big Cities? - Building Possibility
- Successful economic development involves the arts - Building Possibility
- 3 Ways to Make Small Towns Successful: Get the practical steps to Beautification, Good Leaders and Keeping Your Youth - Building Possibility
- Are you living in a small town? - Building Possibility
- East Kentucky Jackson County and Grayson, KY - Onsite visit wrap up by Deb Brown of SaveYour.Town - YouTube
- Iowa Ideas In-Depth: New Idea to action - YouTube
- Small Town Specialist - YouTube
- 2021 WRP Summit IDEA FRIENDLY TOWN - YouTube
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