Monday, Sep 01, 2014
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Hernando County employees get ‘happy’ in music video

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Singer Pharrell Williams’ monster hit “Happy” sits atop almost every music chart in the country.

The lightweight lyrics and infectious beat are even resonating inside the halls of Hernando County Government.

The Hernando County Public Library system produced and edited a four-minute video which shows various employees being “happy” all over the county, including outside the courthouse, Pine Island Park, the tourism information office and local libraries.

Employees are shown going down park slides, dancing on library tables and “busting a move” while Williams’ falsetto voice accompanies them. One employee even donned a mermaid tail at Weeki Wachee Springs.

The Hernando County video mirrors the official Pharrell version, where various everyday people and celebrities are shown dancing in various locations around New York and other areas.

Even County Administrator Len Sossamon got into the action and is seen near his downtown office intoning, “Happy, happy, happy.” County public communications specialist Anna Lamy said Sossamon’s walk-on was impromptu and the administrator was well aware of the song.

Lamy said it was her idea to do the video because she wants to drive traffic to the county’s social media platforms.

“We wanted to do something to promote the…sites that we offer to residents,” Lamy said. “Doing videos like that help bring awareness.”

And it seems to have worked because the video has received a number of ‘hits,” Lamy said. The YouTube version had more than 900 views by Tuesday evening.

Highlighted in the video are employees from parks and recreation, tourism, library services, budget and public information services. Lamy said it took each of the departments less than a half hour to film their spots and the library services staff edited the final product.

The video also puts the county in a positive light and shows that all is not negative in county government, Lamy said.

Many county departments have a presence on social media sites, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and are looking to boost their number of followers to these sites, county spokeswoman Virginia Singer said in a press release.

“What better way than to produce a video of county staff dancing to the tune of Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy,” she said.

“The mission of the video is to remind residents and visitors that Hernando County is an especially happy place, nestled in the heart of the Nature Coast,” Singer said. “From the rolling hills of historic downtown Brooksville to the mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs and the sun and fun at Pine Island, we have something for everyone.”

Singer said a bonus was that employees engaged in a team-building, morale-boosting exercise.

Anthony Adams, library information services coordinator and director of the video, said total production time was eight hours. Adams said he worked around employees’ work schedules and there was no cost to taxpayers.

“The goal here was to present the best side of government employees and government programs,” Adams said.

Adams said his next video will be animated and focus on the life and times of a library book and it, too, will be set to music.

He hopes it will be as successful as “Happy.”

“It all worked out smoother than I expected,” he said.

The video will be promoted on all Hernando County social media sites. To view the video, visit https://www.facebook.com/HernandoCoGov

Singer invites people to send in their own happy videos. They can post pictures, tweets and videos of their friends and family using #happyinhernando.

mbates@hernandotoday.com

(352) 544-5290

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