Story City GCC unveils new mobile phone community app

Todd ThorsonStaff Writertthorson@storycityherald.com
Story City GCC unveils new mobile phone community app

Mobile phone users who want to stay informed about Story City community events and business promotions can now download the new Story City app. Soon to be fully-functioning, the app is available for both Apple and Android phones, and comes complete with information about local businesses, custom coupons and services, a reference calendar for community events and other helpful features; all for the purpose of keeping residents, as well as visitors, on top of what’s happening in Story City from the convenience of their cell phone.

Through an agreement with ProsperWalk, a mobile app marketing company, the Story City GCC and its Main Street Iowa program, struck up a relationship earlier this year, and the result of that arrangement is finally unfolding.

“I first heard about the app from another (chamber) executive director, who was having her community app created,” said Assistant Story City Chamber Director Shannon Hayden. “At the beginning of the year I started working with Kevin (Perez) of ProsperWalk in developing our Story City app.”

Perez, the company’s project manager, states on the ProsperWalk’s website, that “we will do everything within our power to help drive more traffic to your downtown/Main CVB or Chamber of Commerce.” The company doesn’t charge Main Street communities for the app, and it’s free for users to download at either the Apple or Android store.

“The initial set up has been very easy,” Hayden said. “I simply provided ProsperWalk with our GCC Partner list and they have taken it from there in creating the app.”

Since there were no initial up-front costs, and the fact ProsperWalk did the set up and design work, it was a win-win situation for the GCC and Story City, officials said.

“The idea is to engage the community with useful information, special offers, community events and dining guides,” Hayden said. “Once we have shown ProsperWalk that our community is downloading the app, they will then reach out to the businesses to see about sponsorships and special offers. That’s how ProsperWalk will make their money.”

There will be no costs for operating system upgrades. A new, more appealing look to the app will occur in May and should be in place before Scandinavian Days. It will feature less text, with more visual content.

Currently, according to statistics on the Provo, Utah-based ProsperWalk website, 80 percent of phone time is spent on mobile applications compared to 20 percent on mobile websites. That shows that apps have the potential to help businesses and organizations increase their exposure of information, whether it be a product or a special event.

By having its own app, the Story City GCC will be able to keep track of the organization’s own progress, print reports, and view statistics through the company’s Customer Relationship System (CRM). The website that is designed will also be fully functional, and will also help users stay informed about the GCC’s events and promotions.

Story City GCC Partners, including organizations and businesses, will be able to gain more visibility by the app’s ability to provide additional promotional space within the app itself and the website. And updating will be simple, just by using the ProsperWalk Central Management System (CMI).

The GCC has already begun uploading the community’s business information, along with upcoming events. Categories on the app include: Dining, Entertainment, Coupons, Events, a Listing section with sub-categories of businesses, separated into types of businesses, and a link to the StoryCity.net site.

The app can be found by searching “Story City GCC” in your respective phone’s Apple or Android store. The app was officially unveiled at a morning meeting yesterday (Tuesday) at the Story City GCC office.

“I feel that the app will provide another way to communicate with the community and visitors on what is happening in Story City, as well as promote local businesses,” Hayden said.