By Molly • Molly Walker • 

Grow Yamhill County magazine launched

Ossie Bladine/News-RegisterThe introductory page of the new magazine created by the county’s economic development program.
Ossie Bladine/News-Register
The introductory page of the new magazine created by the county’s economic development program.

Yamhill County Commissioner Allen Springer, the county’s economic development liaison, praised the efforts of Jeff Lorton and Val Anctil of the Duke Joseph Agency in Carlton, as well as all their community and business partners. Lorton is currently serving as the county’s economic development director on a contract basis, and tackled the project in that capacity.

Springer said the goal was to make Yamhill County a prototype for the state. He said he’s hoping others will be wondering, “How did you guys do what you did in the midst of difficult times?”

He said cooperation and unity have been key elements in the effort, which is still in the development stages.

“The train has been moving as we lay the tracks,” he said. “That’s what makes it difficult. It’s a work in progress.”

The 44-page publication, printed on Oregon Lithoprint Inc.’s new digital press, highlights the program’s motto: “You can get there from here.” It’s filled with photos and stories about each city in the county; a map graphic showing where the cities are located and where the county is within the state; lifestyle graphic collages depicting community activities and festivals, higher education and wine country; and success stories from 17 local businesses.

In addition, the related website and social media elements add video and interactive opportunities.

“I’m not easily impressed,” Springer told the group. But he said, “I’m impressed with this.”

Lorton introduced members of the team who worked on the publication, including Brian Rake, webmaster; Dan Spence, graphic designer; Rachel Karl, social media strategist; Tory Kelly, videographer; Danielle Barriga, copywriter; and Robert Delahanty and Bill Miller, photographers. He also singled out News-Register Publisher Jeb Bladine, saying he served as the mentor not only for the print publication, but for the entire project.

“All of this is like a giant pot of spaghetti,” Lorton said. “Throw it against the wall, you know a lot is going to stick.”

What has been created, he said, is a piece that relates the story of Yamhill County and its citizens.

“We wanted to attract people like the people already here,” Lorton added. For that effort, he said, they looked for a broad spectrum of success stories to feature.

He said the publication is being printed in an on-demand format. He said communities that are interested could use the template to create something geared to their own area, and Springer would be happy to facilitate that.

A pdf file and access through the web via a page-turner site are planned in the near future.

Lorton spoke of Yamhill County as a hub surrounded by five counties. He said it has a wonderful inbound migration of retirees and a high rate of volunteerism.

In researching, he said he learned nearly every town was settled by someone who came here on the Oregon Trail.

Springer added that there are many more success stories out there and he anticipates changing the print publication annually. The website will be constantly evolving, he said.

“This is like the maiden voyage of something we’re going to grab onto with the pioneer spirit,” he said.

Springer said he plans to especially highlight the outlying communities where investments can be made and the money will go further because there are better buys.

Lorton encouraged others to share the videos on their own sites to increase the reach and said he’s learned that when using social media, it’s good to have a ratio of 80 percent talking about others and 20 percent about yourself.

“As communities, it’s good to talk about each other,” he said.

“This is a gift to our community to have the stories documented and have the videos and pictures,” said Jody Christensen, executive director for the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership. “What they’ve created has a very long shelf life.”

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