Freeport, Il. – There’s a new exciting movement happening in Freeport, Illinois. While it’s not one you might suspect perhaps, it is one that’s nonetheless waking up some of the locals and gaining huge momentum in this small town hub of Stephenson County Illinois.
It’s not a movement made up of a group of local people cleaning up the streets as you might first guess; it’s not news of another non-profit organization who received a big grant check and it’s not a new “community development” plan that seeks the use of taxpayer dollars to help fund it. A new focus on Freeport has hit the streets and in just eight short months has accounted for over 700,000 views of it’s news, feature stories, documentaries and local broadcasts. All of them centrally focused on, and filmed in, Freeport, Illinois.
Day by day this new view from inside “the port” is telling the story of a city and its people that over the years has been plagued with a lot of bad press. In a day when the media is viewed so negatively from so many different people, it seems this humble new look of town is something people everywhere really love to see. Not only by the citizens of Freeport, but it’s new way of presenting localized content is helping to shape the view of this northern Illinois town for many around the region and throughout the country who are looking in. One viewer wrote, “These broadcasts are making the review mirror transition.”
“We all know standard news media is often negative” say’s Greg Chambers, developer, creator and host of Freeport’s new broadcast network. “People are tired of it“, he said. “For decades and decades the media has told us that the type of news being covered are what the people want to see“, to which he adds, “for the most part, it’s just simply not true at all“.
And while unconventional as it may appear to some, it seems he just may be right on target too. In only eight months time the Facebook community page setup by Greg called Today In The Port has went from completely 0 likes, to over 4,300 people hitting the LIKE button. If you think in terms of numbers and reach in a town the size of Freeport, that’s 1/6th of the entire population. It’s more people than voted for some town Mayors.
The number of impressions being made and the total views being had of Freeport are frankly, nothing short of amazing which by the way, equate into a lot of people here and all over the country who are tuning in to Freeport.
In just a single broadcast Today In The Port has reached upwards of 35,000 people. Many others reaching 20,000 plus people individually. One of those viral broadcasts was a short little clip of the locally loved tradition, the holiday Apple. The holiday Apple is a homeowners tree that has been decorated every year to look like an apple and over time, has become a landmark on Stephenson Street for what some viewers remember as early as the 1970’s.
Here’s a look at how many people just this one broadcast reached.
“To watch Freeport go viral and see so many across the region and the nation who are now able to see the town they love – and can share it with others – it’s an incredible feeling“, says Greg.
“I love Freeport“, he says. “I was born here, I kissed my first girl here… I felt butterflies in my stomach the first time here. I’ve dreamed here, I’ve hoped here…” he told us.
If you look at the total likes on just the apple video alone (1,469) it’s hard not to notice the audience his new media brings the images of Freeport to either. The Apple video alone had more likes by itself than the Freeport Chamber of Commerce, the Freeport Community Foundation, the Stephenson County Visitors Bureau and NIDA have in total page likes combined.
Other broadcasts, such as specially produced videos like the Love of Freeport, the Freeport Homecoming Parade, the Freeport High School Graduation plus public service announcements about school bus stop arm’s and others have done equally as well, together reaching 100,000 plus people. When you couple that with 22,000 social post clicks in one week’s time along with the accompanying website, www.FreeportNewsNetwork.com that itself has nearly 40,000 page views per month, it’s quite clear this humble hometown media is on it’s way to something really big for the people who love, and will come to love, Freeport.
Though Greg hasn’t made much talk of his city branding plan for Freeport he says plans are definitely in the works for a city-wide community announcement of a new broadcast news platform for Freeport and Stephenson County. Though we can’t say, we can tell you this could possibly turn Freeport into a national city model.
If you’d like to show your support you can help out with a $5.00, $10.00, $25.00 gift, or any other amount by either contacting Greg directly, or through his Go Fund Me page as yourself, or anonymously if you’d prefer.
Even If You Don’t Like Apples, You Love This Apple. LIKE If You Have Enjoyed This Landmark of Freeport. 🙂 Share a Memory.
Posted by Today In The Port on Friday, December 18, 2015