Saturday, August 25, 2007

Part II: Can Latonia be saved?

A while ago, I wrote about the struggles the small town of Latonia, Kentucky has faced. Land-locked, and generally used as a pass-through to I-275, the town has struggled to find their identity. Rumors swirling around one of Latonia's big employers pulling out have not yet come to fruition, but seem an inevitability.

In order to thrive, survive, and grow, Latonia needs to establish its own identity. An identity that’s separate from their current identity as the public housing landing place (Many residents from the recently demolished Newport, Kentucky public housing development were relocated to Latonia) and the shortcut to Taylor Mill and I-275.

Some ideas for improving and imprinting Latonia, Kentucky’s unique identity:

  • Establishing a Web presence will only help Latonia in its quest to survive. A Web site, blog and business owner’s site is mandatory.
  • Reviving the Latonia Business Council is critical to establishing the town's identity. The council should be working hard to push some positive press in local media.
  • Latonia should become more visibly active in the Northern Kentucky chamber. Making their presence felt by actively participating in events.
  • Continuing to work with city council members from other towns in Northern Kentucky is a must; asking for their advice and input will only help Latonia in its quest for growth and identity.

Public relations strategies Latonia, Kentucky might consider include:

  • Shut down the surrounding streets, re-route traffic, and have a city celebration in downtown Latonia. Make it an arts festival and people will come from all over to buy paintings, get temporary henna tattoos and to ooh and ah at custom designed jewelry.
  • How about some chamber music in the charming town square on a soft summer’s eve?
  • Black and white photos ranging from Latonia's tattoo parlor customers to the lovely historic buildings in the area would build charm in the blank storefronts flanking the main thoroughfare. Today they're more representative of an abandoned town that's on it's way down.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. What could Latonia do to improve their identity? Your thoughts?