BUTTE - Butte’s been cleaning up its mine waste for years now. But, only recently, the city is trying to clean up its image as well.
“We’re more than a pit, we’re more than historical mining. We have a community that’s full of arts and culture and passionate people. I think anybody who walks down the streets of Butte can feel it, there’s a new energy all of the sudden,” said BLDC Marketing Director Cooper Fisher.
Telling the rest of the world about that energy is the motivation behind a marketing plan called Butte Elevated. A group of Butte agencies and businesses started this in 2015. The name was inspired by altitude.
“A friend of mine that was visiting came during a particularly snowy and foggy day and my dad kept pointing at the mountains and said, ‘well, they’re over there. You can see them.’ And he couldn’t and I asked him about that and he said, ‘well, it’s really the idea of it being elevated that everything is in the clouds sometimes,’” said Butte Elevated organizer Julia Crain.
Clearing the clouds so people can see the natural beauty and quality of life is what Butte Elevated is about. To do this, the group had to come up with a common brand so the town can stay on message.
“We are such a humble community, we work hard, we do a lot of great things, we’re not great about selling ourselves or telling our story outside,” said BLDC Executive Director Joe Willauer.
Last year, Butte Elevated used the social media platform Instagram to do it. Each week, the gave a Butte Citizen access to the account and had them record their daily activities.
“Social media is something where you give the power of your marketing to your followers to whoever likes your page, you give it to your audience and they kind of hold the power of your brand,” Fisher said.
This unique plan won Butte Elevated the Governor’s Marking Campaign of the Year Award for 2017.
“Butte is a town of people who are so passionate about their community that they want to tell that story,” Fisher said.
One goal of Butte Elevated campaign is to try to lose that unfair image of Butte being this hard-knocks town with a chip on its shoulder.
“We are a community that’s very friendly, very passionate, very caring and giving and I think historically there’s just kind of been this bad rap, but all of the people I know that have come here and experienced the true Butte, given it a chance have walked away with brand new eyes and a brand new perspective,” he said.
Butte elevated hopes that perspective will lead to future prosperity.