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Promotional videos premiere at State Theater
City of Larned and Pawnee County share effort
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Pawnee County Commissioner Bob Rein Jr. and Larned City Manager Bradley Eilts welcome attendees and share why the effort to brand and market the community was undertaken, Thursday at the State Theater.

LARNED — Thursday night, the City of Larned and Pawnee County unveiled new logos and premiered recently produced videos that will be part of a shared marketing effort for all the communities in the county. 

The effort, which was agreed upon in May, aims to attract workers, businesses and new families to the area. Following the nearly hour-long presentation, attendees were also treated to a free showing of the 2004 animated film “The Polar Express.” 

Pawnee County Commissioner Bob Rein and Larned City Manager Bradley Eilts took the stage and welcomed Dr. Walt Menninger, superintendent of Larned State Hospital. Recruiting workers to the hospital has been a major focus of the campaign. 

Rein explained the reasoning behind the partnership, noting that it is up to the city and the county to market their communities and take control of the narrative concerning rural Kansas. 

“If you don’t sell yourself, you are not going to win,” he said. 

Eilts praised the marketing company B’ajillion for its research and design efforts, and invited members of the public to become actively involved in promoting their communities. He then introduced Larned Mayor William Nuss, who gave a detailed explanation behind the new logos and marketing design aspects of the campaign that are rolling out in the near future. 

Four icons representing different aspects of Larned will be incorporated in signage, stationary and promotional items. 

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A crowd awaits the premiere of videos and the unveiling of new logos that will be part of a shared marketing effort for all the communities in Pawnee County on Thursday evening. The event was held at the State Theater and was followed by a free showing of “The Polar Express.” - photo by Veronica Coons

The county has one new logo that is related in design and color schemes. In addition, there a design element that incorporates an overhead view of the county, represented by the curved shapes and lines of the terrain, reminiscent of the crop circles, all in the three branded colors. The patterns will be incorporated into billboards, streetlight banners, an art mural and on social media and apparel, Nusser said. 

The videos were then presented, the first spotlighting Larned State Hospital from the employees’ point of view. Nusser noted that video is part of a recruitment effort to increase the number of employees, adding great strides have been made in the last year. Rein noted the hospital provides several hundred jobs to the area, so keeping it staffed is a top priority for the city and the county. In an effort to do that, a website has been created, Its purpose is to make it easy for potential workers to apply by funneling information directly to the hospital’s human resources department, and avoiding the more cumbersome process of interpreting the state website.

The remaining three videos included a wide variety of images including people of all ages taking part in community-wide events, active footage of the Larned Homecoming Parade, a high school football game, various residents at their places of business, and people taking part in activities, including hunting and agriculture. 

Following the videos, attendees were encouraged to sign up to become brand champions, and pledge to share positive posts from the community and encourage people to support the community both in and outside of Pawnee County.