As published in the Daily Southerner.
Tarboro is getting a new website. The Town Council voted 7-1 Monday night to enter into a contract with Circumerro Creative Media Agency of Jackson Hole, Wyo., not to exceed $44,800 to establish a stronger Web presence in order to attract new residents and businesses to the area.
The town is matching $22,400 from ElectriCities. The present website was developed about five years ago. Circumerro, which was founded 13 years ago by Councilman John Jenkins’ 38-year-old son Latham, was the recommendation of Town Manager Sam Noble and staff in March.
However, the selection was delayed a month when new Councilman Melvin Muhammad requested presentations by Circumerro and Regency Interactive Corp. of Rocky Mount, the two firms that submitted proposals. Regency’s John Saldi emphasized the need to have a website that would be found by the various Internet search engines. He said he could do so through website optimization.
Jenkins, who grew up in Tarboro, said the secret to an effective website is to deliver a well-crafted message. He emphasized visuals, photos and videos. During Jenkins’ presentations he frequently made comments that showed he was familiar with the town he grew up in and the surrounding region. He said the website could be a key tool to attract businesses and people to the community. “Effective content creates a great website,” Jenkins said. “Tarboro has a great story and I look forward to helping share it. We need to represent Tarboro in the right light online.”
Jenkins said 70 percent of people use the Internet daily and 80 percent of new homebuyers look on the Web first. Muhammad said later he voted against Circumerro because Regency emphasized making the website so it would found on search engines. “We need to make it easier to find us,” he said.
Jenkins said, “Consumers expect more from the Web experience. We are going to deliver that.” Councilman Dr. Steve Hoard endorsed Circumerro, the firm his company Kanban uses. Jenkins said he would have a new website ready to launch by August.