TDC approves 2018 marketing plan, crisis strategy
Beach tourism officials on Tuesday approved the Tourist Development Council’s 2018 Marketing Plan, which includes a strategy for disbursing information during a crisis or disaster, and sent it on to the Bay County Commission for final approval.
The plan was approved at a combined meeting of the TDC and Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau meeting. Included is a 30-day impact plan that will ensure after a crisis, tourism information still is reaching potential visitors.
“The plan is in case of a crisis that impacts Panama City Beach,” TDC President Dan Rowe said. “It will allow the chairman to spend up to $300,000 on TV news and more to let people know what is going on in Panama City Beach. Cities across the Southeast will know Panama City Beach is up and operating.”
A similar plan was in place and was successful during the Gulf oil spill in 2010, Rowe said. During the spill, staff tweeted photos of the beach and sunshine every day to show people the beach was still intact.
Rowe said he knows the new 30-day impact plan will work because he watched it happen after the oil spill.
″[The 30-day impact plan] is another avenue for us to tell our story in another way,” he said. “We need to have a campaign that allows us to get digital billboards and TV advertising that talks about the storm is over, and we’re open for business.”
Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas said he thinks the plan is a great idea, saying officials have to be prepared to respond quickly.
“Whenever you have a situation like an oil spill or hurricane, you have to counteract some of that,” Thomas said. “You must have something in place.”
When Hurricane Irma struck much of South Florida last month, the TDC had been rolling out its fall campaign and digital assets with Southern Living. Rowe said the organization was able to increase the volume of media and carry messages about Panama City Beach throughout the period of the hurricane.
“We’re always out there from a social media standpoint to tell our story,” Rowe said. “As soon as Irma passed, we met with national media to remind them [Panama City Beach] was OK.”
The fiscal 2018 Marketing Plan will be sent to the Bay County Commission later this month for approval.
Source: Panama City News Herald