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Newspaper and multimedia firm join forces
January 19, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

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Hale Multimedia, local web design and online marketing firm, has moved back to Gering to share offices with the Gering Citizen. Owner Brian Hale started in the web design business in 1996 while he was in the military in Oklahoma. His first venture was a printed directory for Internet Yellow Pages.

“I found out that less than 10 percent of businesses had a web presence,” Hale said. “The companies who needed one asked me to build a website for them.”

For the next 12 years, he was in the business of building websites. In 1998, Hale returned to the area and joined with his father to form Hale Broadcasting and Website Design. “We started out with ag broadcasting,” he said. “But as the business grew, we started doing video, audio, CD production and duplication services. So it was an easy decision to change the business name again to Hale Multimedia in 2008.”

During their expansion period, the business went from building websites to more of an Internet marketing firm. “I resisted it when we jumped into social media,” Hale said. “But it was through Facebook that we got our first job of building a website for the City of Gering.” He added that while the search engines are great for finding things online, businesses still need to get themselves known in the local community. That’s where Hale Multimedia can help.

In late 2010, Brian, along with his wife Andrea and father Howard, met with the publishers of the Gering Citizen about building a web presence. “From that point on, I didn’t know what it would be, but I knew we would be working together somehow,” he said. “Our Gering Citizen website design went online in January 2011.”

In January 2012, Hale Multimedia moved their offices from Scottsbluff back to Gering and the Citizen Newspaper offices downtown. “Our partnership is going to be a good one,” Hale said. “We’ll still have our own business and keep our own identities, but will be able to build the best products each of us has to offer.”

Because so much of today’s media are moving toward the web, Hale’s firm will be able to build the newspaper’s online presence and offer more digital editions, as well as the standard printed edition everyone is familiar with. Hale said he will also be involved in designing graphics and advertising for companies. And readers will be able to see Hale’s byline in some stories and photos published in the paper.

“I think it’s exciting to have Hale Multimedia here,” said Citizen publisher Lisa Betz. “We’ve always had a great creative synergy, and now we have easier access to each other. This is only going to make both of us better.”

Since the Internet and digital media exploded in popularity, newspapers have seen the need to have al online presence and to offer digital publishing alternatives to its customers. The Gering Citizen, founded in 2009, started out with offering ways to fill that need in the community.

“I really like the people here,” Hale said. “The people are what makes the Gering Citizen and the people are what make Gering. It’s not about the paper or about us, it’s about making the best newspaper we can for the people of the community. We’re thankful for the opportunity to work together.”

Hale said Hale Multimedia is in full operation and the only change is the physical office address. The best days to contact them are Wednesdays through Fridays.

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