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Scappoose springs for audio documentary to spur development

Portland storytelling company brought in to showcase city to investors


by: FILE PHOTO - The Scappoose audio documentary has been in the works for about nine months said Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge, who proposed the idea to Scappoose City Council . Scappoose City Councilors believe their city has a story to tell, and they’re banking on a new audio documentary to tell it.

As part of an economic development effort, the city of Scappoose hired Pagatim, a Portland-based storytelling agency, to produce an audio documentary meant to showcase the city as a viable option for businesses looking to relocate.

“We hired [Pagatim] to put together an audio documentary highlighting the city of Scappoose as part of marketing the city and the airpark and letting the people know what we’re all about,” said Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge, who proposed the idea to the Scappoose City Council.

“[The documentary] is helping to try to get Scappoose on the map to let businesses know we’re here and we have land,” said City Manager Jon Hanken.

The Scappoose City Council voted last December to appropriate $10,000 from the city’s economic development budget to realize the documentary. Hanken said half of the expense came out of last year’s economic development budget, and the other half with this year’s.

Hanken said the return on the $10,000 investment will be evaluated over time.

“Measuring the success is more long-term,” he said. “We just basically got the audio.”

In an explanation of the project’s goals and expected outcomes to city councilors, Burge wrote, “If we were able to get one business to relocate to Scappoose because of the audio, I would consider it a success, but of course I want more. Also, the return is educational for the community on what Scappoose has to offer.”

Hanken said Pagatim has a network of various podcasts by which the documentary will be distributed. Burge said the documentary has been distributed to the Columbia County Economic Team as well as homebuilders and realtors.

Hanken said the reason behind putting together an audio documentary was to allow for people to absorb the media more easily than by video or text.

“You get on an airplane, you’re a busy executive, you may not have time to watch a video. But you can put on a podcast any time,” he said. “It’s a great tool in terms of talking about the community in general.”

The documentary is currently broken up into four parts. “Part 1 - The Airport” profiles airport-based companies Oregon Aero and SportCopter, and examines the Scappoose Airport as a business center. “Part 2 - The History” explores Scappoose’s history from the early days of the timber industry to the Great Depression. “Part 3 - Economy & Business” examines Columbia County’s economy through small business interviews and a profile of Michael Curry Designs. “Part 4 - The Community” includes a conversation with Burge, as well as a Scappoose High School football game. In total the four chapters amount to about 54 minutes.

Hanken said the city hopes to release more segments focusing on other aspects of Scappoose, such as the Sauerkraut Festival and the Scappoose Pow Wow.

The audio documentary can be accessed by visiting soundcloud.com and entering “Scappoose Documentary” into the search bar.