Port Royal branding effort moves forward

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMarch 5, 2014 

Consultants helping the town of Port Royal with branding and marketing are starting to narrow their focus.

Rawle Murdy Associates has wrapped up phase one — information gathering — and is formulating a plan, which is due to Town Council on April 9. Phase two is about developing the brand identity, Bruce Murdy said during an update Tuesday at Town Hall. The firm is using information from three public forums, social media data, a marketing audit, comparisons with other communities and other sources.

Water and nature are recurring themes. So is the desire for economic growth, Murdy said.

Rawle Murdy works with Clemson University, which is “scouring the universe online to see what people are saying about Port Royal,” Murdy said.

It’s not much.

Neighboring Beaufort was mentioned about 200 times a day and Port Royal just 25 times a day during the 90-day period examined. Most of the comments by people within the community or the state, Murdy said.

“So that means we’re talking to each other about ourselves,” he said.

Rawle Murdy will now test three “positioning statements,” with online and man-on-the-street interviews. The statements are not brands, but will help to identify what aspects of Port Royal most appeal to people.

The statements are:

• Natural beauty: A storied history along the sandy banks of Battery Creek, Port Royal, S.C., is a classic coastal town. People have raised their families for generations to the ebb and flow of Port Royal Sound.

• Unique charm: Nestled deep within a sheltered natural harbor, Port Royal, S.C., is a coastal town filled with people from every walk of life. Charming storefronts, eclectic shops and funky festivals pull residents and visitors together under towering live oaks.

•Business/tourism: With its first settlement dating to 1562, Port Royal, S.C., has long been a travel and trade destination. Today, our waterfront and shopping district keeps residents and guests entertained year round. Opportunities for unique, small businesses continue to lead Port Royal into the future.

Rawle Murdy is expected to return for another update before preparing final recommendations.

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