|Out on the Big Water with Northern Wilds crew aboard SailSuperior.com's Frodo. Clockwise rom left are Kate Watson, Shawn Perich, Captain Gregory Herioux, Amber Pratt and Paul Pepe. Jim Boyd is behind the lens.|
As of today, we're up to twenty journalists covering everything from motorcycle touring to sailing the Big Water, kayaking, the growing local music culture and our culinary diversity.
Travel media is such a critical part of our marketing strategy and is becoming increasingly a larger element within our operating budget. attracting journaists through any number of Canadian and US travel media showcases such as Canada Media Market Place or Go Media to name but a few. We also get a lot of travel media inquiries from our friends at OTMPC and even other tourism marketing organizations such as Algoma Kinnewabi Travel Association. Travel media tells stories in more detail and authenticity than an advertisement does and often ends up costing less. We typically cover their expenses while here and many of our partners featured offer discounts and complimentary admissions in exchange for the publicity they receive. In 2011, we welcomed twenty two journalists and we received over $7325 000 in earned media value (determined by what we'd have to pay for the equivilant print, web or television space.)
A few weeks back we hosted four Minnesota based journalists writing for Northern Wilds but also representing interests beyond the popular Northern Lake Superior lifestyle. Today I had a chance to see the first two digital outcomes of the 4 whirwind days they spent, not only in Thunder Bay but up as far as as Terrace Bay and Rossport, really giving our coastal region a lot of attention. In fact, we want to welcome them back later this year to see even more of the region.
You can read the identical articles either at North Shore Community Radio's website or at Northshorehwy61.com's site.
While the group was in Thunder Bay, The Tourism Division had a great time playing host as a couple of them weren't that familiar with the area. Shawn Perich, Editor of Northern Wilds, along with staff writer Amber Pratt, North House Folk School Marketing Coordinator Kate Watson and freelancer Jim Boyd absorbed a lot of different experiences while in the area and really loved the food culture, the waterfront redevelopments and our urban connection to our natural environment. For me, the most important element of the familiarization tour was getting to stregthen our tourism relationships and freiendships with folks across the border. Lake Superior and the highway corridor around it is our single largest tourism asset and it takes all of us working together across three states, one province and two countries to grow the industry in any meaningful way.
Of course, it wouldn't have been made possible without the assistance of over sixteen other local and regional tourism partners who took time to show them around their attractions and respective communities.
Tomorrow is another day and we're welcoming a California based travel culture journalist , followed on Monday by a Vancouver based blogger, a crew from Inside Motorcycle and MAV TV...and this is all before the Bluesfest weekend! We have another twelve booked in for the balance of July and August.
If you see a film crew or photo journalist around the city this summer, take a second to welcome them. They'll love it!