The 30 Most Beautiful Lighthouses in America
(Lorain & Toledo Harbor are mentioned)
The 30 Most Beautiful Lighthouses in America
(Lorain & Toledo Harbor are mentioned)
The Central Ohio tourism industry showed its marketing expertise at this year’s PRism Awards! Please join us in congratulating Experience Columbus and the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau on their recognition and awards from the Central Ohio Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) 2015 PRism Awards. The ceremony was held on May 7, 2015 at the Columbus Athenaeum. The PRism Awards honor exceptional public relations accomplishments throughout central Ohio.
Experience Columbus won an impressive five PRism Awards (first place) in a variety of categories for Columbus Makes a Run for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Building Destination Preference for Living and Travel (with Fahlgren Mortine), Experiential Tours, the Columbus Experience and their Columbus Photo Challenge (Instagram).
TourismOhio along with Great Lake Publishing took home the PRism Award for Special Purpose Publications for the 2014 Ohio Travel Guide!
The Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau won two PRism Awards for their Irish Experience Enhancement Program and Bureau Biz newsletter.
A special congratulations goes out to Cathe Moog of Experience Columbus for winning the 2015 Tom Poling Practitioner of the Year Award!
Travel and Leisure Magazine: Cleveland Among Top Cities for Foodies
Associated Press: Washington Post Features Fun, Quirky, Ohio Festivals
Does your tourism destination need seasonal interns? This program, offered through the Ohio Development Services Agency, could be a perfect fit for your business!
The Ohio Career Exploration Internship Program is a great opportunity for high school students interested in interning part time. The program allows students to gain the skills necessary for in-demand careers while gaining a variety of experiences in their chosen field. Internships should reflect the student’s long-term professional and career interests, encompassing numerous aspects of the industry in which the student is employed. For example, interns should gain experience in areas including but not limited to: marketing, accounting and business.
Ohio tourism businesses hiring high school interns are eligible for reimbursement of wages for the intern’s salary. The intern must be employed for at least 20 weeks and 200 hours – perfect for seasonal employment! Once the internship is complete, businesses may be eligible for reimbursement of 50 percent of the intern’s wages, up to $5,000.
Businesses must be a sole proprietorship, for-profit, or pass-through entity in operation for longer than 12 months in the state of Ohio. Once the business has selected interns, the organization may begin the online application and submit intern goals to the Ohio Development Services Agency. Upon completion of the internship, businesses are eligible for reimbursement. Businesses are limited to three interns per calendar year.
To view the online application and more information, visit development.ohio.gov and search Ohio Career Exploration Internship Program or call (614) 466-4326.
10 Iconic Cleveland Foods
Athens Named Top 20 Coolest Towns in the US!
John Travolta Movie Filmed in Columbus!
Huffington Post - “15 Under-the-Radar Vacation Destinations” (Hocking Hills)
USA Today – "Outdoor Skating Rinks Around the USA"(Columbus, Akron, Cuyahoga Falls, Cincinnati and Cleveland)
Do you understand your Twitter metrics? Learn the best metrics to judge your social media presence without having to spend all that time clicking through posts and charts to monitor your Twitter account.
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From beautiful Ohio images and must-see destinations, to TourismOhio director Mary Cusick highlighted for her inspirational leadership, there is plenty of exciting Ohio tourism news!
Please share these articles through your network and keep the good news going for Ohio!
USA Today: Photo Tour- Beautiful Ohio
LA Times: Top Destinations of 2015 - Cleveland
Wall Street Journal: Columbus Has Its Day
Capital Style Magazine: Central Ohio Women Leaders Share Their Stories
Congratulations on the reappointment of three of our TourismOhio Advisory Board members! Brian Ross (Experience Columbus), Dan Young (Young’s Jersey Dairy) and Jodi Burroughs (Hocking Hills Canopy Tours/Wild Zipline Safari) have been reappointed by Governor Kasich for an additional three years on the Advisory Board.
In the last BuckeyeLine we highlighted Dan Young, so now take some time to get to know Jodi. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in business management. Her first job was in engineering where she designed and installed control systems for pulp and paper companies. She also has a background in IT sales before she caught the bug for Ohio outdoor recreation.
Hocking Hills Canopy Tours opened in April 2008 and became the first world-class canopy tour in the Midwest! Jodi, along with her sister Julianne, partnered with the Columbus Zoo in 2011 to open Wild Zipline Safari at The Wilds.
Jodi is very involved in Ohio’s tourism industry and currently sits on the Executive Board for the Ohio Travel Association in addition to her role on the TourismOhio Advisory Board. She also chairs the zipline sub-committee for the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Amusement Ride Safety Council.
Please feel free to join us for the next TourismOhio Advisory Board meeting on November 13 from 1-4 p.m. on the 19th floor of the Vern Riffe Building in downtown Columbus.
Meet our newest team member, Lauren Seckel! Lauren Seckel is the Marketing Manager for TourismOhio and is working to help develop the branding for Ohio. Before coming to TourismOhio, Lauren worked at Bob Evans Farms, Inc. for 14 years as the Senior Marketing Manager. She loves to visit her family’s cabin south of Columbus which is more than 100 years old and making trips to Lakeside, Ohio. You can connect with Lauren at email@example.com.
With the OTA Conference on Tourism right around the corner in Clark County, it is the perfect time to help you get to know Dan Young from our TourismOhio Advisory Board. Dan is the CEO of Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs.
Dan attended Miami University for his Business degree and then Wright State University for his Masters of Business Administration.
The family farm recently celebrated 144 years and has grown to include two restaurants, miniature golf courses, batting cages, corn mazes, educational tours, large events and more.
Dan is an avid cheerleader for the authentic, rural Ohio experiences that provide lasting memories for families.
There’s an interesting article that was recently published in the New York Times that could have significant effects on the number of getaways people take in a given year. “Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain” highlights the importance of taking a true vacation from the influx of information pouring into our brains on a daily basis. Email, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Newspapers, Radio, TV, magazines – we take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers of information per day on average! That’s five times more than we did in the 80s.
Turns out, when we “Tune-Out” we allow a different part of the brain to kick in - the daydreaming mode - and this allows us to better solve problems and fosters creativity. In short, traveling and unplugging makes us better at work and at life!
We are blessed in Ohio to have many travel experiences that allow visitors to relax, unwind, and break free from the information overload. There are even some parts of Ohio where you have no choice but to go tech-free, such as some of our rural state parks. When you enjoy scenic hiking, quiet cabins, ziplining, campfires, and horseback riding – you can free your mind to work better.
For Ohio travelers, breaking away from the norm and having that recharging time is a major driver for visits. Be sure to tap into this trend in your promotional efforts and when it comes to your own daily work.
A big congrats goes out to our travel partners in Hocking Hills. According to a recent article in the Logan Daily News, the Hocking Hills Travel Association has seen 100 percent occupancy for cabins since 4th of July weekend. They have also experienced record visitation to their Welcome Center.
“When you get this type of big national attention it makes sense to come and check it out,” said Raymore.
Raymore has participated in past TourismOhio media missions, including the 2014 trip to Chicago, to help generate national coverage. The Hocking Hills Travel Association regularly submits information for the Ohio Buckeye Database and travel publications. The group also takes advantage of co-op advertising opportunities and participates in the mobile tour.
If you haven’t visited www.DiscoveringOhio.com recently, you are missing out on some nationally ranked tourism writers touting Ohio attractions! Former television news anchor Anietra Hamper recently received three top honors for her travel writing from the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). Hamper won first place in both the Best Magazine Travel Article on an International Destination category and Best Self-illustrated Travel Article category honoring writing and photography. Both top honors were for her article, "Someday Starts Now" for Positive Magazine. She also won honorable mention in the Best Self-illustrated Travel Article category for her article “Varied Vietnam” for AAA Home & Away Magazine.
If you have an Ohio travel experience you would like our bloggers to highlight, please email your story ideas to Katie Sabatino at Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s a new year -- what better time to evaluate the success of your email marketing? It’s easy to get caught in the hype of everything going on in the digital world. Between your website, email, social media, texting etc., it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Take a look at this article from the experts at ClickZ on best practices for the email subject line.
As a former journalist, stories were often pitched to me by members of the community, by local officials, and by travel destinations looking for coverage. While I viewed all these story ideas as valid, not all were “news worthy” – that little phrase that determines what producers will put on the evening news and what editors will print in their papers. What makes a story news worthy? Well – it has to be timely, local, have an impact (also known as the “so what” test), and includes some type of tantalizing entertainment such as a novelty or rarity, conflict, or human interest element. Few stories have all of these qualities, but most good ones have at least two or three.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are working with the press or trying to attract media coverage:
Build relationships with the media. This can be an important component of your community outreach efforts. Follow reporters on social media; get comfortable with them, but not too comfortable – remember you are always on the record unless noting otherwise (note: not all reporters honor “off the record”). Find out which reporters cover the travel industry or lifestyle beats and familiarize yourself with their past stories.
· Don’t hide behind press releases. Too often we push out messages in a formal sounding press release and hope that somebody picks it up – not likely. Picking up the phone, sending a personalized email, or the promise of an exclusive goes a long way when pitching to the press. It also helps build relationships that could be vital in the future.
· Be sensitive to deadlines. Reporters usually work under tight deadlines and often need information quickly. For example, it's good to begin your outreach to reporters early in the morning between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. And for broadcast – don’t even bother calling around noon or close to 5 p.m. because the newsroom is a mad house and no one will have time to talk to you.
How to Pitch a Story
Joe Giessler had the awesome privilege of attending the 4th annual Social Media Tourism Symposium. This national conference brings the brightest minds together with the singular focus of sharing best practices for promoting tourism on social media. This year’s conference had nearly 300 attendees in Huntsville, Alabama. Here are the big take-aways from the conference:
1. Focus on “helping” not just “selling” – posts on social media that are “useful” in nature are shared 30 percent more than other posts. Hilton Hotels helped someone with a restaurant idea despite that person staying at a competitor’s hotel.
2. Do a Competitive Analysis – this idea was from Experience Columbus’ own Joe Vargo. Many of us regularly analyze our internal social media analytics. (Did my blog get more views this month than last month? etc.) But a true benchmark is measuring your own organization against the competition. (Does DiscoverOhio have more Facebook fan engagement than Pure Michigan in December? etc.) Many social statistics are publicly available.
3. Rule of Three – This is a great idea for destinations that feel stretched thin. The concept is simple – for every piece of content created, find three platforms to post that content. Write a blog, post that blog to Facebook, Tweet about it, Pin it, create a teaser for it on your website.
4. Give Your Fans Rock Star Treatment – Musicians do an amazing job at showing love to their fans. Make sure you are reaching out to those who like you. For example, have you thought of giving a select group of fans access to your upcoming marketing strategy to see what they think?
If you’d like additional information on any of these points, feel free to email email@example.com
How do you keep current on industry trends? Where do you learn more about new technology and how to make it work for your business? Where can you get tips for reaching new markets and issues you face every day? Join us at the 2013 Ohio Conference on Tourism, the annual convention for Ohio’s tourism industry, from Oct. 16 –18 at the Cincinnati Marriott North in West Chester. Register online at www.ohioconferenceontourism.com.
The Ohio Conference on Tourism is three days of education and networking presented annually by the Ohio Travel Association in partnership with TourismOhio. Keynote speakers at the 2013 event include nationally acclaimed presenters C.C. Chapman, Laura Mandala, and Lalia Rach, as well as workshops and roundtable discussions on tourism topics including sports and culinary tourism, capitalizing on the group tour market, developing legislative resources, tourism as economic development and nontraditional partnerships. View the full schedule of speakers and events online at www.ohioconferenceontourism.com.