Chamber challenges residents to submit ideas

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By John Foster

Oldham County is about to get unbridled.

Much like the Unbridled Spirit campaign for Kentucky or Nashville’s status as Music City, the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce is working to create a brand for Oldham County.

Instead of hiring public relations and graphic design professionals as the state government did for Unbridled Spirit, the Chamber is asking for help from creative local people — professional or not.

From Jan. 1 to Feb. 14, creators of a slogan or logo or both can submit them through The Oldham Era’s Web site. 

A committee from Oldham County Fiscal Court, Oldham County Tourism, the chamber and the community at large will choose the five best entries, which will be released March 6 at the Oldham County Showcase.

The general public will have the chance to vote for the best entries during the month of March on The Oldham Era’s Web site.

Chamber executive director Deana Epperly Karem said the idea for the contest came through participants in Leadership Oldham County. 

In 2007, participants conducted focus groups of residents that indicated there was no clear identity of Oldham County, Karem said.

Some parts of the community picture schools, others the equine industry and others view Oldham County as a bedroom community. They suggested a branding initiative for the county.

Chris DeMuth of Jagoe Homes was part of the 2007 team that formulated the idea for the contest. 

He said as the class visited various places around the county, they found people passionate about their area of expertise. Some were passionate about schools, some about the arts, some about La Grange or Crestwood. But as someone who does business in the county but doesn’t live here, “It seemed to me it wasn’t translated into an overall passion for Oldham County,” he said.

Karem hopes the process of the contest will help residents gain an awareness of what Oldham County is. 

She hopes the end product will help Oldham County be identified throughout the state, benefitting tourism and economic development efforts.

“It’s easier to market your community when you have some sort of brand,” she said.

The logo will be used in chamber publications and hopefully publications from the county government as well. 

She’d even like the logo and slogan to be appealing enough for businesses to adopt the brand, “something fun and catchy that lifts our spirits.”

DeMuth said he hopes someone designs a brand everyone in the county can rally around and will project a positive image into the rest of the state.

“People are going to think something about Oldham County,” he said. “To the extent we can govern what that is, why not try?”

E-mail us about this story at: jfoster@oldhamera.com.