Carbonear wants more views of marketing videos

By Craig Westcott

The Town of Carbonear is discovering that when it comes to marketing on social media, it’s often like throwing a pebble in the ocean in hopes someone will notice a ripple.
Councillor Danielle Doyle summarized the problems the Town is having at last week’s public council meeting.
“The Town engaged the development of four videos for tourism and economic development that are not only for use by the Town, but we also wanted partners in our town to use when they’re doing recruitment for say the hospital, or welcoming new residents who are coming to CONA (College of the North Atlantic), or any of that,” Doyle said. “We’ve struggled a little bit because we’ve had these videos done and we shared them on the Town’s social media, but that’s only shared so far.”
Doyle didn’t give the numbers, but like most government advertising on social media, whether municipal, provincial or federal, the number of people who actually see such advertising is small. In the case of one of the Town’s videos, called ‘Town of Carbonear – There’s Something for Everyone,’ which was put out five months ago, only 569 people had viewed it on YouTube as of this week. Another video, entitled, ‘You’re welcome to join us,’ which was released nine months ago, has had 722 views. By contrast an ad in conventional media, such as The Shoreline, would have as many as 20,000 people see it over the course of two days.
“So, we were looking for larger distributions so that people around the world possibly could click links and access these videos and who knows where that could end up landing,” Doyle told her colleagues. “So, our economic development officer attended some social media training workshops in this area and consulted with the experts in this field to find out the best ways to get those promoted. One of them is through Yolo which is a service that we’re already using. It’s going to be promoted that way, and also through Google advertising so that it will come up in search engines more readily to make it more accessible to people.”
In other council news:

● Council has issued a permit to operate a new bed and breakfast and restaurant at 152 Water Street. Doyle said the approval is conditional upon Service NL and other government departments also signing off on the requisite permits.
● Council has renewed a permit for a personal use domestic sawmill at 49 O’Keefe Plains. The saw is only to be used inside the accessory building on the property in order to keep down noise.
The owner of a property at 35 Hoyle’s Road has been given approval to enlarge the floor area of a two-story accessory building on the land from 502 to 102.72 metres. The owner is also approved to increase the height of the building from 6.1 metres to 6.7 metres conditional on no objections being made by the public.
And the owner of a property at 56 Adelaide Street is being ordered to remove an accessory building that was erected without a permit.
Doyle noted there has already been two applications to build new houses this year, and the total estimated value of development undertaken since January 1 is well over $400,000.
“So hopefully that’s a sign of good economic development to come for this year,” said the councillor.
● Carbonear’s development regulations will be amended to make it easier for contractors to get permits for affordable housing projects near the town’s amenities.
Doyle noted several projects have already been approved for funding by the provincial government.
The changes will see land zoned Residential Medium to just Residential, which will allow for more units on smaller lots.
“For anyone who’s been following the news, there’s been some news releases about the government funding some affordable housing,” Doyle said. “So, this is to accommodate the three developments that were approved for the Town of Carbonear. We’re just trying to be proactive instead of reactive, because they’re facing some deadlines coming up, and where we’re in the midst of changing from one set of development regulations to the next, we just want to make sure that everything they need done from the Town’s perspective is done so that they can proceed when everything else is processed.”
● Council has approved a $13,000 operating grant for the Princess Sheila Nageira Theatre. Finance committee chairman Chris O’Grady made the motion to provide the money. The motion passed unanimously.
The Town is applying to the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs for a $20,000 grant to go towards replacing the wheelchair lift at the theatre. The estimated cost of the work, O’Grady noted, is $80,000.
Chief Administrative Officer Cynthia Snow said the Town’s economic development officer is looking for other grants and funds that may be available to offset the cost of the work.

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