Town pays for publicity

ajames@newsobserver.comDecember 30, 2013 

— The town has paid big bucks to promote itself across the country and, it hopes, attract more residents and employers.

This past month, the program “Today in America” featured Clayton in a segment that aired on the Discovery Channel and on television stations in markets from Denver to Pittsburgh.

“Today in America” features NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who hosts segments about towns across the country. The show takes viewers on tours of lesser-known destinations that might have more to offer than people realize.

The price to promote a town on “Today in America” isn’t cheap. Clayton paid $20,000 for its five-minute segment.

Mayor Jody McLeod said the money was well spent. “This is probably without question the best economic tool the town of Clayton has created in the past decade, and it will take us far into the future,” he said.

McCleod narrates much of the marketing video, which is available on YouTube at “I believe it will be the best recruitment tool we’ve ever had,” the mayor said.

In the segment, Bradshaw highlights some of Clayton’s selling points, including a property-tax rate that fell last year, a new greenway, a trail for mountain bikes, a dog park and a community center.

The footage includes librarian Christie Starnes kayaking in the Neuse River and interviews with Clayton businesspeople. Jackie Ring, chief financial officer of Johnston Health, talks about the inpatient wing under construction on N.C. 42 West, and longtime resident Lyn Austin describes the town’s charm and hospitality.

The video also showcases Clayton-area employers, including pharmaceutical company Grifols and heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar.

Councilman Michael Grannis said he thinks the promotional video will show companies why Clayton would be a good destination for them and their employees.

Another promotional tool that will help spread the name of Clayton is the “Welcome to Clayton” sign the town plans to put up.

The council voted late last month to place place the sign next to the eastbound lanes of U.S. 70 Business near Walmart.

James: 919-553-7234

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