We are Christina and Peter Pilarski, founders and leaders of CIPR Communications.
Up to this point in our series on support for tourism, we have discussed how to lay the groundwork for your campaign. Now we can get started on planning and implementing your strategy. We use the terms ‘value of tourism’ and ‘support for tourism’ interchangeably since different regions and destination management organizations (DMOs) use either one or the other. In Alberta or British Columbia, for example, ‘value of tourism’ is the preferred term, while in Manitoba, ‘support for tourism’ is more common.
Putting Your Plan in Place
Regardless of how you choose to brand your campaign, once you have set your goals, got realistic with them, and begun to think about them politically, the time has come to start creating a strategy. There are two main components to a support for tourism strategy – education and engagement. Most of these campaigns start with an educational component, because your main objective is to communicate the value of tourism to a particular audience. Your target audience might be the general public living in and around the particular destination, or it could be elected officials. Perhaps you need to reach both, in which case, you would normally need to focus on each in turn.
Next, you need to be clear on what you want to teach your audience. Do you want to explain the value of tourism to the region, help locals understand that their hometown has more to offer than they realize, or perhaps help the public to understand exactly what it is that your DMO does?
Once the educational component is in place, the next step in your strategy is engagement or activation. At this stage, your aim is to push towards your goals by empowering yourself and your audience to take active steps, based on the message and information you have conveyed in the educational component of the strategy. In the next episode, we focus on the tactics you can use both to educate your audience and activate your strategy.
Listen to Series 6 of our podcast for a complete discussion of support for tourism strategies. Read our blog and listen to previous series of the podcast for more tips on marketing strategy, public relations and related topics. Contact us for more information.