Tourism partnership approves budget, plans for hospitality road show

First Posted: 6/17/2009

PILOT MOUNTAIN The Tourism Partnership of Surry County (TPSC) approved its budget of $170,500 for the 2009-2010 fiscal year yesterday, and agreed to partner with the marketing group that helped develop its Very Surry campaign for a hospitality training road show once it negotiates a price for the project.
The board agreed yesterday that it wanted to use MadCat Group LLCs assistance for a public relations program to build a Very Surry road show presentation that would be used by the partnership to sell the groups objectives and the Very Surry campaign to civic groups, community organizations and other key stakeholders. MadCat would provide a set of key talking points and a full set of notes for each slide to ensure a consistent message is being delivered to the community. The marketing company would also work with the board members to create ideas for how to get key community groups to help with its objectives.
Valerie Oberle, the chair of the partnership, said that MadCat will help TPSC with press kits and media blitz.
MadCat would develop a Very Surry Tour designed to bring members of the travel trade and media into Surry County to experience its assets firsthand.
The board also approved a public relations plan timetable, which included building the Very Surry road show from June 15 to June 29, developing a concept for the Very Surry Tour from July 6 to July 27 and creating a media engagement program that targets both the news and travel media from July 13 to July 27.
The Building Very Surry road show phase includes the board getting in touch with various key agencies and organizations in the Dobson, Elkin, Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy to educate them about the Very Surry campaign.
We are going to present the Very Surry Campaign to groups so that theyre informed, said Jessica Icenhour, the vice chair of the partnership, who is also the director of tourism at the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce. These groups need to have awareness about these efforts.
Oberle agreed.
She said the goal is to make sure everyone speaks the same language.
We want to make them a part of our branding process so they know the impact of tourism in the community.
Some of the other agencies and organizations mentioned included arts council, the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, rotary groups and downtown business associations.
MadCat, a branding company, and CoyneBeahmShouse, a creative-marketing company, collaborated to create the Very Surry campaign which features bold single iconic images which are distinctively Surry County such as camping, music, festivals and wineries. The images are slated to be original art and authentic scenes of Surry County.
The board will also be in negotiation with Shouse Marketing, formerly CoyneBeahmShouse Marketing, for promotional material such as photography and illustrations for ads.
The board plans to meet again on July 14 at 5:30 p.m. at the Rockford Bed and Breakfast in Rockford.
Contact Erin C. Perkins at [email protected] or 719-1952.

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