Go Medina County schedules workforce forums, approves online marketing budget

The Board and other members of county-wide non-profit economic development group Go Medina County met in the George S. Woods Community Center for their bi-monthly meeting on Thursday, July 13, approving additional funds for online marketing and scheduling workforce forums in Devine and Hondo on August 15.
Workforce forums
Workforce Solutions Alamo CEO George Hempe spoke about the open workforce forums that his organization is implementing.
“This is going to be the first county that we do the public forums in,” Hempe said. “We want to send a message that it’s not all about San Antonio.”
Local businesses, schools, and political leaders have been invited to the forum, which is open to the public. Hempe explained that the objective for the forum is to identify the most critical aspect of workforce development in the area and decide what needs to happen to address it.
“We don’t want to guess what people’s expectations are,” Hempe said. “If we understand what your core expectations are, the chances of us meeting those expectations are much greater.”
Hempe added that Workforce Solutions Alamo wanted to do more outreach outside of San Antonio so rural citizens know more about the organization and what it offers.
“We want to push that education out there to the counties so that people will be more aware of what services there are,” Hempe said.
Online marketing budget
Southwest Gulf Railroad Company’s Cynthia Prieto and Castroville Municipal Airport Manager Claudia Mora, representing the Go Medina County marketing committee, presented a plan for marketing the county online and requested $7,000 by August 1 to move forward with it.
Mora said that most Go Medina partners had submitted information for the website, and it was time to “step it up a bit” for those who hadn’t.
As of July 24, the City of Devine did not have any information on the Go Medina website. A link to a page dedicated to the City instead leads to the City’s own website.
Hondo, Castroville, and Natalia all have community and marketing information on the cities’ individual Go Medina pages.
Recommendations for online marketing included pay per click ads, FaceBook ads, and article syndication.
Pay per click ads use targeted keywords to ensure a top-three result for Go Medina on search engines.
The request for pay per click ads was $500 for three months, for a total of $1,500. The ads can be used in three consecutive or non-consecutive months. Mora said she would meet with Julio Escamilla of JCE SEO, Go Medina’s web design and Internet marketing firm, and decide what industries to target and when to use the ads.
Mora explained that the Facebook ads that users see are based on what they’ve been looking at online.
“If you’re looking at weight loss programs, you’re going to get an ad that pops up on your FaceBook page regarding weight loss programs,” Mora said.
In this instance, Go Medina ads would appear for people who had been searching for things like available acreage or warehouse space.
The request for FaceBook ads was $100 for three months, consecutive or non-consecutive, for a total of $300.
Article syndication pushes an article to third-party sites to boost website traffic and increase exposure. Go Medina County has to supply the copy for the article(s).
Mora said she and Escamilla had discussed an article that promoted the municipal airports in Medina County.
“What does each airport have to offer for somebody who is looking to bring their corporate jet to Medina County, and/or their operations?” Mora said.
Schuchart agreed with that angle.
“Everybody wants to know about airports,” he said. “Not only about [Medina County] airports, but how close you are to a big one, and we’re all pretty close.”
Mora and Prieto recommended a new article targeting specific industries every 30 to 45 days, and requested $400 per month for three months, for a total of $1,200.
An additional $4,000 was requested to allow Go Medina representatives to set up a booth at a trade show in November.
The Board approved the requested total of $7,000.
“We’re not here to be bankers and save money,” Go Medina Chairman and County Judge Chris Schuchart said. “We’re here to spend it for growth.”
Treasurer’s Report
Michael Beasley of Community National Bank delivered the Treasurer’s Report.
There is currently $32,629.90 in Go Medina’s operating account, and $2,900 in a CD, for a total of $35,529.90.
Municipalities’ yearly dues of $1.00 per person inside the city limits is due on October 1, the start of the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Medina County will also add additional funds at that time.
The next Go Medina County meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 14 at 9:00 am at the Hondo training center.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer