When plotting a communications plan to help Facebook become part of a small historic town, we started by announcing the data center and running full-page ads in regional papers that read, “Add as friend.” We then organized a groundbreaking event where state and local leaders and workers, business owners and the media came together for a get-to-know-us luncheon.
We helped Facebook answer the community’s questions clearly and thoroughly, worked with the Oregon Governor’s Office to make the statewide announcement, created photography and that was published across global media, and launched the first data center Facebook page so the community could follow its progress.
Along the way we’ve worked with Facebook’s Menlo Park-based communications team, data-center operations, various regional experts and the people of Prineville, all to keep lines of communication open, clear and well used. (We don’t get our knickers in a twist about who’s job is what; whatever it takes to get the job done, that’s our high.)
We also helped release a 2014 economic impact study that showed the data center’s $45 million in output and 207 jobs in Central Oregon, and $64.7 million in output and 266 jobs around the entire state.
Since 2011, Facebook has donated $1,065,000 to Crook County schools and qualified nonprofits through its Community Action Grants program and local donations, including the support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.
The best part: One of the biggest brands on the planet is now part of a town of 10,000 people—something that easily could have gone awry, but Facebook did it right. We’ll take a little credit, but the success of the Prineville data center is because of Facebook’s people and their good decisions. They’ve hired local first and are really a part of the town, communicating and responding to local needs and concerns. And Apple has recently come to Prineville, which is more great news!