Sara Hertrampf, Sales & Marketing Manager, looked around in amazement at a packed house in October 2019. Filling the Alpine Communications event were business owners, community leaders and economic development champions throughout Iowa.
As she marveled at the connectivity happening among local influencers before her eyes, she couldn’t help but remember a time when Alpine Communications was only seen as a utility company. Customers valued the services they received from Alpine Communications but the communities hadn’t yet recognized opportunities to leverage Alpine’s fiber-optic broadband services that could help grow rural Iowa and attract businesses and residents.
When the Alpine Communications team gathered together in a room on a snowy March day, they were excited to talk about their values and finally zero in on impactful language they could use for years to come. Among the many aspects of their brand that were revealed in the Root Session was their core message (what we call the Root Belief): We believe connected communities become thriving communities.
“We really gained clarity of message,” Sara recalls. “The messaging helped us with how we talk to our customers and it connects to every story we tell.”
With consistent language in her arsenal, and a Root Belief that spoke to Alpine Communications’ role in the community, Sara and the team set out to showcase how the organization connects the community in new and meaningful ways.
One of the first initiatives was telling team members’ stories. Putting faces to the names at Alpine Communications was huge for the community and helped them feel more invested in the organization’s happenings. Telling individual stories led to recognizing the need to tell more community-oriented stories. Alpine saw an opportunity to tell stories that weren’t being told about the successes of customers and innovative ways people are using technology. In a sense, Alpine Communications began connecting the community more through its already established resources.
They created the Connected Living Room, which donned Alpine’s beliefs (extracted from the Root Session) proudly on its walls. The new room also helps customers connect to new technologies like Ring Doorbells, Smart TVs, smart speakers, etc. That is a permanent space in the front office/customer service center.
The success of connecting the community through storytelling became so popular that it begged for something more. A live in-person event, the team decided, hosted by Alpine Communications could bring together experts, resources and speakers for businesses who were looking to establish or expand their operations in northeast Iowa.
The Connected Communities Summit turned out wildly successful with more than 80 in attendance, successfully connecting important individuals in the community with new resources. An entrepreneur based on the East Coast shared his story about running his business part time in Iowa. With Alpine Communications’ strength of broadband, he sometimes felt it was easier to run his business when telecommuting in McGregor than from Boston. Female business leaders, economic experts and community innovators also shared their knowledge at the summit.
“It was a great way to have one day focused on broadband technology where we could have important discussions on what can we do with this to help the community,” Sara shared.
“It all boils down to what we believe,” she added. “All of our latest initiatives trace back to the Root Session. When it came time to make it real, we knew exactly what to do and what would showcase our beliefs the best.”