Oneonta Mayor’s rise on TikTok recognized by Wall Street Journal

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We got the inside scoop from Mayor Phillips. (Mayor Phillips / City of Oneonta)

Mayor Richard Phillips of Oneonta, Alabama has had hit after hit on TikTok, enough to have the city recognized by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Keep reading to see what all the hype is about and hear from the mayor about his viral hits.

We talked to Mayor Phillips about his TikTok debut

@cityofoneonta Mayor shenanigans #oneontaal #cityofoneonta #justhavingfun ♬ original sound – City of Oneonta, Alabama

“I started making these silly TikToks, messing with people at City Hall all in good fun. Everybody in the office loved it. I’m just doing it for fun and giggles, then all of a sudden it just blew up. We had several videos that really took off and I think it’s great.

It makes me incredibly proud to be the mayor of a community that is so forward thinking and receptive to this kind of attention.”

Mayor Phillips, City of Oneonta

The reason he thinks it’s so great is probably not what you think.

“I couldn’t care less about me personally getting any attention from it, but it’s really exciting that this small town of 7,000 people in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Alabama is getting all this attention. It’s actually brought people to our community.”

Mayor Phillips, City of Oneonta

Bringing attention to Oneonta

Welcome to Oneonta! (Mayor Phillips / City of Oneonta)

After gaining over 117,000 followers on TikTok (around 17 viewers for each of its 7,000 residents, according to WSJ), Oneonta is getting more attention than ever.

“It means a lot that a publication like The Wall Street Journal is realizing that Oneonta is just a really cool place that is worthy of such a story. It really doesn’t have anything to do with me, I just happened to use the right technology at the right time to get noticed.”

Mayor Phillips, City of Oneonta

What makes Oneonta so special?

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A charming little town. (Mayor Phillips / City of Oneonta)

Mayor Phillips is proud that new eyes are seeing how special his little town really is.

“But what makes Oneonta so unique is that we’re just this quaint little town that’s just on the outskirts of Birmingham. We’re just far enough to not be considered a suburb, but not far enough to be considered too far away.

I joke that Oneonta is is kind of an adolescent. At this point, we’re not a full-grown adult, but we’re not a baby anymore. I think that we’re learning who we are as a community and what residents want Oneonta to be.”

Mayor Phillips, City of Oneonta

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Callie Puryear
Callie Puryear
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