The city has spent up to $18,000 a year on informational billboards, but most are located on the interstate. Officials say the new LED trailer can be used anywhere in the community to reach an intended group.
(TNS) — The city of Lexington has invested in a new portable digital device so the organization can take different messages and information to specific areas in the community.
Tracey White, utilities and marketing director for the city of Lexington, said the city has purchased a four-foot by seven-foot mobile LED trailer that can be downloaded with a variety of information and will be used by multiple departments.
She said the city of Lexington regularly uses online, broadcast and print advertising, but this new piece of equipment can take the selected message directly into the areas they are trying to reach.
"We were trying to figure out how to get messages for some things that we have coming up out into the community," White said. "Commercials and print ads serve their purpose, but it is a difference audience. There is a certain demographic that reads the newspaper, there is a certain demographic that listens to the radio and watches TV. They aren't necessarily the same group and you have to reach them where they are."
Lexington City Manager Terra Greene said the new mobile device is one of several initiatives the city has undertaken, including providing more information to the public.
"Part of that equation is the ever increasing broadband demand to reach our citizenry and utility customers through multiple communication platforms," Greene said. "As a city that strives for continual innovation, we are seeking creative ways to engage in the community and meet them where they are. What better way to do that than with a traveling billboard that visits our neighborhoods?"
The new portable messaging vehicle cost approximately $32,000. White said although the upfront cost is higher than normal marketing items, the device will pay for itself in two years and it can be used for years to come.
She said the city has spent up to $18,000 a year for different billboards. She said the problem is they are mostly located on the interstate and not in the community and they are only temporary. She said the new mobile device can be used over and over again.
"We had looked at regular billboards, but it was quite expensive to keep a billboard up for any length of time," White said. "Then it is not usually in a community, it is on the interstate or on the outskirts and we were trying to take these messages into the community. Also, to get something on a billboard you have to know about it a year in advance, for the billboard uptown (Lexington) you have to know about two years in advance."
White said the mobile billboard is two sided and can display anything from urgent messages to commercials and videos. She said it is also something that can be used by all city departments.
"We can roll it out and put informational message for emergencies," White said. "The recreation department can use if for movie night, or we can use videos to advertise things that are happening at the amphitheater. We could take it to National Night Out if there was a video about safety that the police department wanted to show...It is like a big computer on wheels."
White said they will premiere the new equipment during the city of Lexington professional workshop next week before deciding their first placement in the community.
She said the city purchased the equipment to provide more information directly to the public.
"It is hard sometimes to get our message into the community," White said. "This way we can take it directly into the community, park it where we want and control our own message... We can advertise for $18,000 a year for three months or we can invest the $32,000 and have something we can use over and over; have exactly what we want and put it where we want."
©2019 The Dispatch, Lexington, N.C. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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