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February 14, 2013

Local First! planners outline campaign

(Continued)

Wyckoff said the bus route that runs along state Route 28 between Oneonta and Cooperstown is heavily used for some tasks, such a medical trips, but is underutilized by shoppers.

She said planners are looking at several ways to address that issue, including a brochure that lists shops within walking distance of bus stops along the route and listing the buses to which riders can transfer within the system.

Wyckoff also suggested that Local First! use college media to advertise shops and events outside the Oneonta area coupled with the availability of public transportation.

The campaign would employ all of the usual media to advertise, such as print, television and radio ads and social media, but the stakeholders heard Wednesday about a new medium, digital signage, from Leonard Carson Jr. of DC Marketing, which operates a digital billboard on the westbound side of Interstate 88 and at 189 Main St., both in Oneonta.

“The nice thing about the digital (billboard) is its flexibility,” Carson said. “It’s truly fluid. Out software can stream live data, so if a business or an organization has an event that’s going on, we can include that right in the ad as it’s cycling through.”

Carson said that about 32,000 people pass the I-88 site daily, and that the software allows advertisers to offer eight to 10 different messages at a time.

Amy Burnsworth of Time-Warner, the cable TV provider for much of the county, said it’s running buy-local commercial patterned after an similar campaign in Kentucky.

Buy-local initiatives are already under nationwide, including one in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Saratoga counties.

Proponents say buying from local vendors is beneficial in numerous ways, such as keeping money circulating in the local economy. Because of that, they say, such spending stimulates job growth. The Otsego stakeholders also pointed out the buying locally boosts the county’s sales tax revenue.

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