Gone Local chosen for Spectrum Reach's 2022 "Pay It Forward" Program

a man standing behind a video camera pointed at a tower and lake 

In March, area Spectrum Reach divisions hand selected minority- and women- owned businesses for the "Pay It Foward" Program, which is a program that the company developed to give back to the community. Originally launched in 2021 in cities like Austin, Texas, and Duluth, Minnesota, the media giant chose to use its platform to help mom-and-pop shops market themselves and keep their heads above water in light of the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through "Pay It Forward," selected businesses receive complementary advertising and marketing services, including: 

  • A three-month television advertising schedule, valued at $15,000
  • A free :30 Waymark-produced commercial
  • Support from local marketing experts during the three-month period
  • Access to on-demand educational content and expert industry insights
  • Invitations to exclusive marketing events and expert insights

This is the first year that the company brought the program to Erie. Four small businesses were chosen for this year's program in Erie, including Gone Local. Through this campaign we've been able to work directly with Spectrum reps Kirk Seth and Melanie Whatley, who have been a wealth of knowledge and support in the process. 

We also wanted to use this unique opportunity to access some of the other resources and programs available to Erie businesses, including membership at Community Access Media (CAM). CAM is an area-nonprofit that "is authorized by the City of Erie to administer the public access media channel on Spectrum Cable, Channel 1021 and VNET Fiber Channel 2, as well as streaming On-Demand on Apple TV and Roku Apps." Anyone who lives, works, or belongs to an organization based in Erie is able to become a member. Membership benefits include access to media training and classes, equipment rentals, and ability to submit programs for cablecast on Channel 1021. 

a woman pointing a digital camera at a stack of products on a wooden shelf

So that's what we did! We paid the $140 annual membership fee, rented video equipment, took a training course, and filmed the commercial ourselves. This service made the production of our commercial extremely simple, cost effective, and timely. You can view the finished product here:

Special thanks to Branden Montgomery of CAM for facilitating the training course, David Santiago for operating the camera, Katherine Innes for acting, Dena Rupp of Purrista Cat Cafe for offering her space for b-roll, and Tammy Toski of Wicks & Wax Studio for acting and allowing us to use her studio for filming.