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Our opinion: Shapiro’s work better than brand

Gov. Josh Shapiro slipped into and out of Warren County recently, hiking part of the Rimrock Trail in the Allegheny National Forest.

It’s nice to see we have a governor who can find Warren County without a map and a flashlight. We hope the governor enjoyed our area’s natural beauty while he was here and, yes, we hope the governor makes more stops here in the future.

“Greetings from the Allegheny National Forest,” Shapiro said in a reel posted on Facebook. “We just did the Rimrock Trail. Look how beautiful it is. You gotta get out here. It’s unbelievable. It’s just peaceful. It’s calm. It’s a great hike and it’s Pennsylvania.”

We take note of Shapiro’s trip because it’s one example of how to help build a new brand. The governor recently embarked on a tour of the state to build awareness of the state’s new tourism brand, “The Great American Getaway.” It wouldn’t have been enough to send out a news release with the new brand and expect it to magically work wonders by osmosis.

As Warren Worx embarks on branding, we hope they learn a lesson from Shapiro’s trek. Branding is hard work – and it will require publicity building stunts like the governor’s tour of areas like Clarion, Tioga and Warren counties. A brand for Warren County is going to require some work to build, as the governor is doing with the state’s brand.

And, frankly, it would probably behoove city and county officials to work off of the state’s tourism brand. We’ve already expressed doubts about the efficacy of branding efforts, but it’s worth noting one thing that kills branding efforts is having too many conflicting brands in an area at one time.

Shapiro’s visit is worth filing away as we begin this new branding effort locally.

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