Chelsea Web site undergoes major overhaul

By AMY GORDON / Staff Writer

Visitors to the Web site for the city of Chelsea will soon be able to access interactive features such as video and virtual tours, said Wayne Morris of Visual Media, Inc.

Morris said the virtual tours would feature different areas of the city, such as city hall, the chamber of commerce and the library. He also has plans for a video library that will give a complete idea of what Chelsea is like, with videos to focus on Chelsea subdivisions, city amenities and departments such as Parks and Recreation.

“Video is pretty hot on the Internet right now,” Morris said. “We needed a really good marketing tool to sell the city, and that’s what the Web site is supposed to be.”

The Web site also serves as an archive for public documents such as city ordinances, resolutions or meeting agendas. Some of the documents go back to 2006, Morris said.

Finally, the Web site should be a communication tool for the community, Morris said. Up-to-date community announcements are on the home page, and there are links to information about city businesses and commercial activity.

Visual Media, which has a contract with the city of Chelsea, will continue to update the Web site as community events happen, Morris said.

“We’ll be adding video components of different events that happen throughout the year,” he said.

The Web site needed to be updated to keep pace with Chelsea’s growth, Morris said.

“They really needed a fresh look,” he said. “I’ve lived in Chelsea for 20 years, so I’ve been there from a long time ago when it was very small and had very small economic opportunities. Things in the city had changed so much, the Web site didn’t match the growth of the city.”

At the end of October 2007, Chelsea leadership signed a contract with Visual Media to handle the Web site and public relations for the city. Since then, Visual Media has designed a logo for Shop Chelsea, a program to stimulate Chelsea business. The company is also designing a flag for the city and other promotional pieces. The Web site is an essential piece of the public relations puzzle, Morris said.

The city pays Visual Media $1,200 per month for its public relations work and Web site work, said City Clerk Becky Landers.

For Morris, the city’s Web site is a unique project.

“I handle a lot of Web sites for a lot of different companies, but doing it for the city in which I live is kind of special,” he said. “I’m helping expose it for what it is, which is a great place to live.”