by Brian Chambers, Director of Communications City of Huntington

HUNTINGTON – In a final push to prove Huntington should advance in the America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition, residents are being encouraged to take to social media to share personal stories that show why the community is such a great place to live and work.

“We’re issuing this challenge to make sure we have all the help we can get to share Huntington’s unique story,” said Mayor Steve Williams, who has helped lead the local ABC team. “This truly is one of America’s best communities, and no matter what happens in the next rounds of the competition, we need to be doing everything we possibly can to help more people understand why they should locate their business and raise their family right here in Huntington.”

The Huntington ABC team is also asking residents to use the hashtags #ABC50 to connect with the national conversation and #ABCHuntington to link the social media conversation together locally.

“This is an opportunity for all of us to work together to help spread a positive message about Huntington and the bright future we have,” said Mary Witten Wiseman, president of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community. “Tweet by tweet, Facebook post by Facebook post, we

can make an impact on public perceptions of our community and convince even more people to take the time to learn more about all Huntington has to offer.”

 

America’s Best Communities has been regularly sharing photos and videos from the towns and cities participating in the competition on its social media pages and with reporters and editors at national media outlets. The Huntington ABC team is confident an uptick in local social media activity will ensure Huntington gets a large share of the national attention being focused on this competition.

 

“If you worked hard to give back this holiday season — helped your neighbors or supported our community — share it on social media, and we’ll be able to show the world even more reasons why we are America’s best community,” Williams said.

 

Sponsored by Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel, America’s Best Communities is a $10 million competition that aims to revitalize small towns and rural communities across the country. About 400 communities entered the competition, and Huntington was among 50 nationwide that were selected to advance into the quarterfinals.

 

Each community was awarded $50,000 to develop a community revitalization plan. Local leaders were given six months to work on Huntington’s plan and were required to submit the plan for review on Nov. 6. A panel of independent expert judges is now evaluating the plans and will select 15 communities for the semifinals, which will be announced Jan. 13.

 

“The judges’ decisions will be based solely on the revitalization plan and application we submitted, but it certainly does not hurt our cause to ensure competition organizers are seeing more stories from our community in their social media newsfeeds every single day,” Williams said.

 

Huntington’s revitalization plan will help guide the growth of the local economy and support improvements to quality of life. Specifically, it focuses on the Highlawn brownfield revitalization project; the West End River to Rail initiative; the Hal Greer Boulevard and Fairfield West revitalization project; and tying the bricks-and-mortar projects together with the deployment of high-speed broadband. The revitalization plan can be viewed in its entirety at www.cityofhuntington.com.

 

About America’s Best Communities

America’s Best Communities is a multi-stage, three-year competition that is providing $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop new economic growth strategies. The top three communities — those with the most innovative proposals being effectively implemented — will share a total of $6 million in grand prize money. The winning community will be awarded $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for third. To learn more, visit www.americasbestcommunities.com.