LOGAN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s national profile has endured something of a dichotomous existence.
We live a world encased by natural beauty that can channel our lives into close-knit communities marked by love and charity.
Citizens and tourists regularly engage themselves in the area’s vast outdoor playgrounds.
However, recent economic complications have further tarnished the already complicated national view of West Virginians.
The downturn in the coal industry, natural disasters and one economist’s declaration of a “Great Depression” in the coalfields have dominated West Virginia’s small window of national observation in recent months.
When recent news coverage is taken with a steady dose of emigration out of the Mountain State, many people are reportedly being asked why they stay in the area.
The Census Bureau estimates Logan County’s population has dropped 5.5 percent since 2010; however, the Hatfield and McCoy Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) has started a social media campaign to turn the message around.
The CVB recently started a social media campaign centered on the positive things that keep West Virginia’s citizens in their home state.
The group began a hashtag campaign called #WVWhyWeStay.
“As part of the social media campaign, we decided to look at it more positively. We stay because of family, community and church. We stay because we like the mountains and the gorgeous scenery. We stay because of our neighbors and teachers. There are multiple reasons why we choose to live here and do business here,” noted Debrina Williams, director of the CVB.
The CVB is asking people to use #WVWhyWeStay to compose social media posts with messages and photos showing the things they love about West Virginia.
“Everybody has something that is positive about why they choose to stay in West Virginia. From people posting fishing pictures, kayaking pictures or family pictures. Please post and share,” added Williams.
A life-size cardboard cutout of an Instagram post has been making the rounds of local businesses and attractions allowing people to frame their post at events like Pickin’ In the Park.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]