Rangely teen wins accolades for ‘net coverage of county

Tessa Slagle
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Tessa Slagle
Tessa Slagle
RANGELY I A marketing and branding campaign launched by Rangely High School senior Tessa Slagle has won accolades for drawing the most followers compared with other counties in the state.
One segment of the Making Colorado campaign, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s statewide branding initiative announced in April, asked high school ambassadors to establish their county’s “vibe” and promote its offerings via visual and written content on social media outlets. Ambassadors also attended weekly “webinars,” or web seminars, to learn more about marketing and brand creation.
Slagle, who carried a full-time job and raised 4-H animals alongside the summer internship, used Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to post weekly historical tidbits, interviews of longtime residents, upcoming events in Rio Blanco County and a final video capturing the county’s rural feel.
The activity drew more than 300 followers to the RBC Facebook page by mid-August, when Making Colorado organizers announced Slagle’s page had more viewers than any other county. Now, a month later, the page is up to 363 followers.
“I want to continue updating the page because so many people look at it,” Slagle said. “I don’t just want to throw it away after the work and time that’s gone into it.”
Slagle hopes to continue partnering with Meeker resident Kim Ekstrom, who contributed several photos for the county video and has helped gather Meeker news and photos for the Facebook page.
Other photographers have given permission for their photos to be shown online. And these days, it’s not uncommon for community members to approach her with ideas for posts or information to share.
Tessa’s mom, Carla, who has watched her daughter work through the internship’s various learning curves and challenges, said that while Making Colorado didn’t always meet the expectations it set up in April, the project has been a good one for Tessa and Rio Blanco County.
“The Facebook page has had a lot of really positive reactions,” Carla Slagle said. “People have told her, ‘Don’t quit that, please.’ There are supposed to be two more levels to the project where kids can continue working, so we’ll see. But for now, it’s kind of an alternative to the newspaper and a way to access daily information that’s not readily available here.”
To send Slagle event information, county updates, anecdotes or photos, message the Rio Blanco County Facebook page or email tessaslagle@hotmail.com.