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Plum strives to beef up image with catchy tagline

| Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Murrysville is the “Gateway to Westmoreland County.”

Cranberry Township is “built for you.”

Plum officials are looking to come up with their own community tagline to demonstrate what the borough has to offer as both a place to live and do business.

“We are rebranding Plum,” Manager Michael Thomas told members of the newly organized economic development committee led by Councilman Dave Vento. “Many communities have a tagline to promote the community. We are trying to come up with one.”

Thomas said the idea for a tagline came about as officials began talking about erecting new signs welcoming motorists to the borough following the recent designation of Plum as the fifth affordable place to live in Pennsylvania, according to a ranking system published last month by Movoto.com

The study factored adjusted median income, unemployment rank, utility costs, food costs, median home price and miscellaneous costs such as restaurants and entertainment.

The ranking is the second major designation for Plum in the last couple of years.

Neighborhood Scout, a neighborhood search engine designed for home buyers and movers, designated Plum as one of the 100 safest cities in America in both 2012 and 2013.

“It goes to show what a great asset Plum is in being safe and affordable,” Plum Mayor Richard Hrivnak has said. “The community has known it for a long time.”

Plum officials plan to include the designations of the borough as safe and affordable on welcome signs at the entrance points of the borough.

Thomas said the information also will be placed on new letterhead.

The manager challenged the members of the economic development committee to come up with a tagline.

“I'm giving you homework,” Thomas said.

Cranberry communications Specialist Cindy Marzock said an outside firm, Marketspace Communications of Cranberry, created the ‘built for you” tagline in 2010.

“We wanted to convey the character of the township, something positive that would appeal to the demographics and that people could relate to,” Marzock said.

Cranberry has built upon the theme to include it in various capacities such as recreation, “built for fun;” retail, “built for shopping;” and commercial development, “built for business.”

“It brings a whole sense of community into the picture,” Marzock said. “It is the perfect tagline for us.”

Marzock said she didn't have the cost of hiring Marketspace in her record, and Marketspace declined to disclose how much it charged Cranberry.

Pam Peters, president of Marketspace Communications, said the company developed a tagline and basic brand guide, and Cranberry ran with it.

“They have used it very well,” Peters said.

In another development, Vento is starting a business highlight segment at the council meetings that are televised on the borough cable television stations throughout the month.

Vento said businesses each month will have the opportunity to give a short synopsis about their services.

“It is a commercial that runs for a month for your business,” Vento said.

Committee member Matthew Smith suggested members during next month's meeting look at the borough's comprehensive plan to identify areas that would be best to promote economic development. Members thus far want to explore the Route 909 corridor and the Barking area that is adjacent to the Allegheny River.

The next economic development committee meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on June 16 in the council conference room at the borough building, 4575 New Texas Road.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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