GVTC unveils new look

by Crystal Gottfried

Guadalupe Valley Telecommunications Cooperative (GVTC) progressed to a new level of marketing savvy Monday when the cooperative announced its new comprehensive branding initiative and multi-media advertising campaign.

The 55-year-old telephone cooperative responsible for bringing telephone service to the Texas hill country in 1951, when no one else would, has launched their new trademarked GVTCTM branding with everything from new business cards and stationery, to new signage on their buildings and trucks, to their Web site, to a year's worth of planned advertising designed to reach the rapidly increasing numbers of new residents in their service area.

GVTCTM Communications, as the cooperative will now be known, re-created their image as well as their logo in an effort to make current residents as well as newcomers to the area "fully aware of the technology and scope of GVTC's products as well as the value and customer service" that they offer.

In opening remarks at a special meeting on Monday, GVTC's President and CEO Ritchie Sorrells told the assembled group of employees, media representatives and community officials the cooperative is "tired of being quiet."

"For the future, for GVTC, we are letting everyone know that utilizing GVTC's Internet, cable TV, telephone and security services and broadband technology is 'Just Plain Smart'," said Sorrells. "We are letting everyone know that GVTC is growing stronger, not just bigger."

"We believe that these updates will help establish us in the minds of new comers as a full-service communications provider with cutting-edge technology, and not simply a local telephone cooperative," he said. "Our campaign will more effectively showcase our advantages to potential customers and reinforce what we do for existing customers, so that both groups can better appreciate what separates us from other providers."

On hand for GVTC's advertising launch was Mayor Pro Tem Dan Heckler and Texas State Representative Carter Casteel.

"People appreciate the stability of GVTC as a good corporate citizen," said Heckler. "GVTC is truly a part of Boerne's community not just doing business there."

Heckler also thanked the cooperative for their recent investment in the Hays County Economic Development program was well as for being such a large presence in many of the organizations in other communities in GVTC's service region.

Casteel said that she appreciated the opportunity to be of service in this legislative district and "applauds GVTC for this new branding effort."

"GVTC provides services in the Texas Hill Country by offering the best of both worlds," said Carter, "high tech and low stress."

Along with the new "Just Plain Smart" branding tag line, GVTC's new advertising will incorporate additional lines like "Just Plain Driven," "Just Plain Friendly," and "Just Plain Superb," to communicate different qualities that customers and potential customers should associate with GVTC.

GVTC began in 1951 as a telephone cooperative providing service to rural resident of Central and South Texas. The initial funding of GVTC's early expansion came primarily from the Rural Utility Services, formerly the Rural Electrification Administration.

Today, GVTC provides a wide range of services to more than 31,000 members in 11 counties across an area covering about 2,000 square miles.

GVTC was the first telecommunications entity to provide Fiber-to-the-Home technology in South Texas.

"Because the telecom industry in this area has become more crowded and competitive, we need to make sure that we present our message very boldly, so that consumers clearly understand what we're all about," said Sorrells. "GVTC must adapt to the growth in our area and continue to promote outstanding technology and service."

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