Residents of the anything-but-plain Plainville in Rooks County fully know the value of self-promotion. It not only creates hometown pride but serves as a catalyst to attract visitors and businesses.
While most small Kansas towns and cities understand and utilize this basic concept, Plainville has taken it to a higher level. The city’s use of social media helped propel the community to win this year’s Hometown Showdown, an annual contest sponsored by the Kansas League of Municipalities.
The League received photo nominations from 80 cities, which then were bracketed. Participants were encouraged to use Facebook to motivate social media users not only to enjoy the posted photos but to interact as well. Cities went head-to-head in each round; those with the most votes each time advanced.
By the time KLM halted the Facebook voting because of “irregularities” that “interfered with our competition,” the cities of Plainville, Haysville, Newton and Marysville all had made it to the final four. And Plainville, once known as the “Queen City of Paradise Flats,” was wearing the crown.
“Plainville really ‘rallied the troops’ to get through each round by networking with our alumni groups, schools, businesses, friends and family,” said Plainville Mayor Kelli Hansen.
Plainville submitted a photo of its Veterans Memorial in Andreson Park for the contest. The memorial was dedicated last Veterans Day. It honors all five military services: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.
“We are so proud of our tribute to our veterans,” Hansen told KLM. “This contest was a great opportunity for the community to come together for a common goal of showcasing our memorial across the state.”
The city’s Facebook page features that photo prominently. And an update last week thanked the residents of Plainville and everyone they asked to help.
“No words can express the pride how we came together as a true team during this contest,” the page offers. “As always, it’s what we do! We win & we do it together, fair, square & with a whole lot of heart.”
It’s precisely that mentality that always has impressed us about the city. Congratulations, Plainville, on winning the 2017 Hometown Showdown.
Editorial by Patrick Lowry