DECATUR — Nicole Bateman is eager to keep telling Decatur area's story in the next year.
She said the city can continue to build on what started when the Decatur Macon County City Limitless community marketing and branding campaign was launched in May.
“We recognize there are things that need more work,” said Bateman, the community marketing manager who works with the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County. Her position is funded for five years through the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
“We'll work on those things,” Bateman said. “We have a better story to tell each year because we have more to add to the story.”
Bateman said five areas of focus have been identified to work on in the next year, including jobs, entertainment, education, safety and housing for young professionals.
With jobs, Bateman said the goal is to help those in the workforce connect with the necessary resources to work in the career area they want to be in.
She wants to help market more events in the community and help get more people to realize the options they have for local entertainment.
The education focus will be on highlighting the choices residents have and the great things happening in Decatur's schools, Bateman said.
She said statistics have shown a decrease in crime over about the past decade, contrary to some perceptions of Decatur.
“We're going to try to tell the whole story,” Bateman said. “We want to show how far we've come.”
Housing for young professionals is important as part of efforts to keep members of that group satisfied and wanting to remain in the community, Bateman said. She said part of the goal will be to figure out what exactly that group wants in terms of housing and then how to provide that.
Bateman said the marketing campaign seems to have worked because members of the community have embraced it. They were quickly engaged through social media outreach efforts, she said.
“We've had such a positive response,” Bateman said. “People have picked up using the hashtags and sharing the information. We can showcase what we have here and it's pretty incredible.”
City Limitless has registered about 520 ambassadors who help promote the community, but Bateman said not everybody needs to be signed up to do that. She said everyone in the Decatur area can help by spreading a positive message about where they live.