CIRCLEVILLE – “We need to make a major impact something that people will notice,” thats what was said in a private chat a year ago today. As Sciotopost owners we wanted to launch loud and shock the community into realizing we meant business. We had recently bought Pickaway News Journal and were preparing to launch Sciotopost when Brandon Schlichter came up with the idea of the yellow signs with the basic hashtag of #OURCIRCLEVILLE AND #OURPICKAWAY. The signs represented the voice of the community, we wanted to launch something that united a community and gave everyone a voice. Other ideas included a large box truck with the #OURCIRCLEVILLE hash tag painted on it parked in downtown Circleville, and flyers mailed to the community.
This sign I saved and it sits in my office and reminds me all the time.
We also argued over how we would launch the group, finally coming up with the “countdown ticker” that set Circleville into a little bit of a panic. I left for a vacation in Maine shortly after the signs were hung and the countdown was started. Ill never forget the phone call I received.
“This Jeremy Newman?”
“Yes who is this?”
“This is the Circleville Police Department, we want to know about your #OurCircleville signs, I also see your in Maine.”
My jaw dropped, I had to explain the signs and embarrassed I had to ask if I was going to be charged with anything. See the countdown clock had set off quite a stir in Circleville. Some people thought it was cryptic and meant some sort of attack was imminant. Some felt it was a political stance and Mike Pence was coming to town. There were tons of stories afloat, we stirred the pot a little too much! On July 19 we came clean and put out this message.
“Friday night, our group put up approximately 100 signs in the Circleville and Pickaway county area with two hashtags. Since then, a huge portion of the county has been asking “What is going on?”.
First off, we apologize about any confusion or mystery involved. We modeled this idea off of other campaigns that have taken place much in the same manner.
What we’ve seen since putting the signs up has been nothing short of breathtaking for us. Hundreds of comments over thousands of people among the community have created discussion and debate among the residents of this great county, and that was our goal.
Despite a rich history, our cherished city is not immune to the myriad of struggles afflicting a great portion of society today. A deficit of employment, rapid increases in substance abuse, and meager resources for upcoming youth are among the greatest hurdles for born – and – raised of this great town.
Though opposition stands in the way of reversing these setbacks, the life line lies in this city’s many inhabitants who, at the core, hope ever longingly for real solutions that will restore Circleville to its full glory.
The four people that put up the signs cannot solve any of these problems, but the tens of thousands of great people that call this city and county home absolutely can.
That is what the countdown was and is all about. On Friday, July 21st, we are launching a community-centered news and media platform. Designed by entrepreneurs in this great county, for the people of this great county.
Much of this centers around our News & Video Studio that we’ve been working on for weeks. We want to bring the community together in many different ways – to begin discussion and debate about how to solve the struggles we face, as well as bring to light the unsung heroes that are tirelessly working to make things better.
Our website is also going to feature news articles curated from the community and our staff, featuring everything there is to know and love about the county, as well as bring to light the concerns and problems faced in the community.
This project is 100% free to the community – we are not charging a subscription for news, nor demanding a fee for access to the studio for non-profits and government officials. If you have lost a loved one, we want to help you with a video obituary as a permanent reminder of whom you were blessed with.
Many people have already started using the #OurCircleville and #OurPickaway hashtag, and we encourage everyone to use it to bring to everyone, a better community.
This project launches officially on 7-21-17, and with the support of the community, will hopefully bring about great things for #OurCommunity!
Its been a really great year with you all and I promise I won’t be hanging signs tonight!