Branding project to grow Mississippi Hills communities’ awareness

Hernando is among the communities that are part of the project

The Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area (MHNHA) and the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) have partnered on a “Grow, Revise & Share” community branding grant project to benefit the Main Street communities in the Hills region of Mississippi.

The grant project is supported by the MHNHA and will include a day and a half technical visit by community branding specialist Ben Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow.

Muldrow will meet with community stakeholders, including the local Main Street board, economic development and tourism partners, and new and old residents to learn about each community and develop strategies to help capture the economic potential of new people coming to the community.

The 23 Designated Main Street communities in the Hills region that will receive the branding service include: Aberdeen, Amory, Baldwyn, Batesville, Booneville, Byhalia, Columbus, Corinth, Hernando, Holly Springs, Kosciusko, Louisville, Nettleton, New Albany, Okolona, Pontotoc, Ripley, Saltillo, Senatobia, Starkville, Tupelo, Water Valley, and West Point.

Each visit will include an online survey and branding self-assessment and a final on-site presentation and deliverable package that will include a brand style guide, brand resource package, event extension, brand launch checklist, brand partner page, implementation kit, and on-site photography.

“Our Main Streets represent the best of what our communities have to offer in multiple respects, and this project will assist them in communicating their vitality to visitors and residents alike,” said Mary Cates Williams, MHNHA Executive Director. “This effort is yet another example of the outstanding work Mississippi Main Street does to enhance our communities, our region and our state.”

The community branding workshops will begin in February and conclude in June of this year.

“This project will help our Main Street communities in the Mississippi Hills region tell their story and market their cultural assets to both residents and visitors,” said Thomas Gregory, MMSA Executive Director. “We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area that continues to benefit our Main Street communities and the Mississippi Hills region as a whole.”

The Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area was designated by Congress in March of 2009 and is a grassroots initiative that works in partnership with the National Park Service. Since 2016, the heritage area has awarded over $1.4 million in community grants and special projects. For more information about MHNHA, visit www.mississippihills.org 

The Mississippi Main Street Association is the catalyst for the preservation and economic revitalization of Mississippi’s historic downtowns and traditional commercial districts. Since 1993, MMSA has provided more than $6 billion in public and private reinvestment back into Main Street communities. For more information about MMSA, visit www.msmainstreet.com.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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