, Muskogee, OK

January 31, 2014

City should produce videos

— Muskogee should use proceeds from the city’s hotel/motel tax to produce promotional videos for the city, including a virtual tour to be displayed on the city’s website.

CGI Communications created a video tour of Muskogee several years ago and recently announced the continuation of the service. The company has offered to update the videos.

There is nothing wrong with the offer and perhaps we should accept it for now. But Muskogee should plan on producing and updating these videos every couple of years. And the hotel/motel tax funds are an ideal source of the revenue for the production.

Of course free is great. But determining the face that we show the world is important. Keeping our image up to date is vital to the first impression these videos will make. One city councilor made this point during a recent meeting.

“If we did this ourselves, it wouldn’t cost that much,” Ward III Councilor Randy Howard said, noting that much of the work on the existing videos was done by staff members at the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce and others who have no connections with CGI. “We would own the video, and we could update it more often than this company is doing.”

The city should bid the job out every two years. We would then control the content of the videos and their distribution.

The videos should be on the city website, of course. And they should be used to encourage tourism.  But they also could be used for industrial and retail recruitment.  

Innovative uses also might include YouTube, Facebook or other social media approaches to displaying the promotional videos.