A digital publication that offers sponsored news coverage in southeast Michigan communities has been “on the ground” in Farmington since October.
The Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) contracted with the firm last year to provide six months’ worth of content, with coverage probably continuing into 2019, project manager Veronica Johnson said. Freelance contributors include Farmington resident Jenn McKee.
Metromode also works on engaging community residents through social media and local events. While they typically work with a coalition of funders, Johnson said, the DDA is covering the cost.
“They mainly want to raise the image of Downtown Farmington,” she said. “They want people to realize what’s available.”
Director Kate Knight said the DDA is spending $48,000 on the coverage, with Metromode retaining editorial control and the DDA keeping the rights to all of the photographs that run with the stories. So far, Metromode’s 18 “On the Ground” features have covered last fall’s Harvest Moon celebration and the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market, entrepreneurial collaborations, “Fixtures of Farmington”, and other downtown-focused stories.
“We’ve had strong results with their distribution of high quality pieces,” she said. “Their evergreen journalism provides good, positive perspective of the people and places in our downtown.”
The cost is in line with what the DDA paid for distribution of the “Main Street Messenger,” a print piece that was mailed to Farmington households, Knight said. Metromode, on the other hand, has a reach beyond the community and into the region.
“It’s increasingly tough to find bandwidth,” Knight added. “Our goal is to have content that’s going to support our downtown and community brand… We’ve been really happy with it so far.”
When Farmington is certified as “redevelopment ready,” defined by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation as “a voluntary, no-cost certification program designed to promote effective redevelopment strategies through a set of best practices,” grant dollars may be available to offset the costs of continuing the Metromode campaign, Knight said.
Follow the series at secondwavemedia.com/metromode/cities/farmington/default.aspx and