June 24, 2021–8:25 a.m.
The Northwest Georgia Historic High Country Awards for Association Excellence recognize outstanding members and partners that promote travel and tourism in Northwest Georgia. The Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism was awarded the “Best Marketing Campaign” for their 2020 Outdoor Rome Campaign.
The goal of the campaign was to promote Rome’s many outdoor offerings to the surrounding drive markets. Given that most events had been canceled and the priority during the pandemic was safety first; the campaign launched in phased approaches to keep Rome top of mind for visitation when folks were ready to travel.
During the first phase, messaging was inspirational and encouraging to residents and future visitors. The tourism office produced and launched a “Travel Awaits” video that generated a reach of 15,776 and an engagement rate of 4.94%. The office created “Virtual Tours of Rome“ including one tour that shared Rome through the lenses of Rome’s visitors and residents generating a reach of 67,942 and an engagement rate of 59.32%, far exceeding all performance expectations. To spread community cheer, a “Signs of Hope Contest” was launched encouraging residents to create signs for their home or yard that sends messages of hope. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners received gift cards from their favorite Hospitality Association Member business including restaurants, retailers, service providers, and hotels.
As COVID numbers started dropping dramatically and people began adventuring in safe, outdoor activities; the tourism office produced and launched twelve short videos that highlighted Rome’s outdoor activities including trails, gardens, rivers, leisure tours and parks. Explore Georgia launched the Rome Labyrinth video on their state social media; this video alone had a reach of 42,044 and an engagement rate of 12.45%. The total video reach from the 12 short videos was 160,416, with an overall engagement rate of 4.80%. The tourism office also produced a variety of Georgia’s Rome scavenger hunts and games that could be downloaded to explore Rome safely while staying socially distanced from others.
Additionally, during this time frame, the tourism office promoted outdoor attractions through paid media placements including Atlanta Magazine, Georgia State Parks Online, GPB TV & Radio, Red Top Mountain State Park, James Floyd State Park, Corky Kell on Channel 46-CBS, and Golden Isles TV.
The Georgia’s Rome Welcome Center and Gift Shop never closed during the pandemic, but instead shifted to curbside service. The tourism office designed and produced Rome Outside merchandise that corresponded to the campaign including a tank top, long sleeve shirt, and stickers.
Kristi Kent, Communications Director, and Deise Gomez, Marketing Coordinator, managed and designed the marketing campaign. Chuck Meeks, staff videographer, produced and edited several videos for the campaign.
A committee of tourism professionals selected the campaign for creativity, uniqueness of effort, goals achieved, and audience reach.