Immersing Ourselves In Pineville

I had no idea what to expect when traveling down to Pineville, West Virginia. I’d never actually stopped anywhere past the New River Gorge, and I have only ever driven through lower West Virginia when going to the beach. For the longest time, I thought that I was going the wrong way toward Pineville because I had never been on a back road for so long before. Then, right as I was about to turn around, the adventure started and we arrived in Pineville.

My name’s Danielle Kutrovac, and I’m BrandJRNY’s #BrandPineville digital media director. I am in charge of gathering information for Pineville’s new website. My #BrandPineville team and I traveled to Pineville, W.Va., on Sept. 23, for our immersion trip. As a strategic communications major with an emphasis in public relations, I enjoy planning, writing, reporting and meeting new people. When reporting and gathering information from the public, it was helpful to read over the article “How To Talk To Strangers” before I actually went out to the streets of Pineville.

While in Pineville for three days, I visited Castle Rock, the Pinnacle Creek Trailhead, the Guyandotte River, and explored neighboring towns of Oceana and Mullens. One of my main tasks during this trip was to go to every business in Pineville and collect business owners’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, payment methods, and their social media for the new website. My professor, Dr. Colistra, created an Excel Sheet on Microsoft Word to help organize all of this information. Here are some examples of why collecting accurate data is important in marketing research.

While going around to all of the businesses in Pineville, I realized how kind, helpful and informative the people are. Almost every business I went into, the owners and workers were excited to hear about our rebranding process. They were glad to hear that our #BrandPineville team was doing something to help the community. Most of the businesses were already aware of what our project was about, and they thought the community roundtables were an awesome idea to gather people’s opinions on Pineville.

One special and memorable resident that we talked to was Samuel Muscari. Mike Muscari, Samuel’s son, and his family own Pineville’s E-Z Stop. Samuel sat down at the E-Z Stop and talked to our team for a while about how his son and grandsons attended West Virginia University. Samuel said that he used to go to football games back in the seventies when they played in the old stadium located in downtown Morgantown. He explained to us how he, his son, and his grandsons went to school to become doctors. Samuel first opened his own practice in Mullens, W.Va., and now his son and grandsons have offices in Mullens, Pineville, Oceana, Gilbert, Welch, Beckley and Man.

Madison Felton, myself, and David Martinelli discussing BrandJRNY and #BrandPineville with Samuel Muscari. Source: Ali Chambers

Samuel and his son Mike were so kind and welcoming. They are both really interested in and supportive of the #BrandPineville team’s work with Pineville. Mike even bought everyone on my team lunch from the E-Z Stop while we were there.

Overall, our immersion trip was a success. It was so cool seeing another town’s culture and way of life. It really made me realize how different southern West Virginia, is from the northern part of the state. My favorite part of the trip was talking to all of the community members, listening to the community roundtables, and visiting Castle Rock. I can’t wait to go back to Pineville!

My name is Danielle Kutrovac, and I’m the digital media director for #BrandPineville. Margaritas are my favorite beverage, and my chihuahua is my child. Follow me through my journey — @ D_Kutrovac