I currently work as an intern for “I Heart Old Towne Orange,” a company that started out as one woman’s desire to help spread the word about the great things that go on in Old Towne Orange, particularly in and around the Orange Circle. It was her love of her small, quaint community that sparked the idea and it has since grown into a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a weekly newsletter, all of which has a fairly sizable following. What I have noticed since being an intern at “I Heart” is that its following is surprisingly diverse. Men and women, middle aged and college students, are all fans of the blog. Local business owners approach us asking us to sponsor their giveaways or advertise their events, and locals approach us with a genuine interest in wanting to know what is going on in the community.
Despite its success and following, the blog has a very down-home, relaxed feel. Kelly (creator and owner of I Heart) paints herself as the quintessential mom-next-door who happens to love her community so much that she decided to share its greatness with everyone which is absolutely true. She also happens to be a successful businesswoman and advertising agent, but that’s highly underplayed in her “About Me” section of her blog. The lady knows how to play her cards right. People are attracted to her neighborly persona! On her Facebook page, it is especially clear that people feel like they can talk to Kelly as a pal; as a fellow person “in the know” about Old Towne Orange.
The occasional misspellings and slang phrases thrown in here and there (which are few and far between, and usually my fault) add rather than detract from the character of the blog. It feels like a friend is writing it to you. For instance, in last week’s newsletter I started things off by saying, “Happy November fellow Old Towne residents!” then proceeded to talk about how my belly, which was still full of Halloween candy, was already aching for Thanksgiving turkey (I know, I know, the magic of the newsletter is now ruined). WRITTEN BY A LOWLY INTERN? HOW COULD YOU SHATTER MY ILLUSIONS? HOW COULD YOU?! Is this the most professional newsletter of all time? No. Is it accessible to readers? Yes. This is the kind of writing style that Kelly promotes.
By the way, if you would like to get the community scoop every Thursday, feel free to click HERE SHAMELESS PLUG and sign up for the newsletter. The area that lacks the most gusto is the I Heart Pinterest page. It’s been pushed to the wayside in lieu of Kelly’s other businesses, and I as an intern have never really been given grounds to improve or even use it. I think even more of the younger, female crowd could be attracted to the Circle and the things it has to offer with some pictures of cute clothes, antique decorations for dorm rooms, or sales at some of the restaurants were promoted via Pinterest.
When all is said and done, I love what Kelly is doing with “I Heart.” If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to intern for her. She has managed to bring community members closer together through quite a few major social media outlets. She saw a need – show Old Towne Orange residents the great things that their community is doing for them every week – and filled it by reaching out to them through their computer screens. Notice all the recent improvements/expansions/newness happening in the Circle lately? Who’s to say that Kelly’s blog hasn’t been a part of that?