Sharing Duluth's stories around the globe
When the Outdoor Writers of America (OWAA) recently selected Duluth as the place to host its national convention in June 2017 for an unprecedented third time, it was cause for celebration. Never in OWAA's history has this meeting repeated a locat...
When the Outdoor Writers of America (OWAA) recently selected Duluth as the place to host its national convention in June 2017 for an unprecedented third time, it was cause for celebration. Never in OWAA's history has this meeting repeated a location twice, let alone a third time. However, the city's commitment to conservation and planned development of the St. Louis River Corridor, to improve access to countless outdoor offerings, prompted them to choose Duluth once more.
Hosting a national convention provides a tremendous opportunity to showcase our beautiful city to attendees from across the country. The caliber of these particular convention-goers comes with the added bonus that their purpose is to gather content highlighting the region to feature in print, television, blogs and photography.
Based on previous placements, stories featuring Duluth ran for months and up to several years following the conference. Duluth's ongoing evolution as an outdoor mecca will provide fodder for an estimated $10-15 million worth of free promotion to outdoor enthusiasts interested in hiking, bicycling, fishing, paddling, hunting, bird-watching and rock climbing, to name a few.
Capitalizing on the power of free ink or complimentary air time is what Gene Shaw, Visit Duluth public relations director, does best. In the last year, Duluth was prominently featured in:
- 55 magazine stories
- 49 newspaper articles
- 84 television reports (national and local)
- 29 online articles
Equivalent to $3.3 million in paid advertising, these stories had a circulation of nearly 17 million. They are a tremendous return on an investment that included Gene's time and expertise in building relationships with writers and continuously reminding them Duluth has a great story to tell.
Writer Kevin Revolinski dubbed Duluth the "Best Beer Town in the Far North" in a full-page story in the Sunday travel section of the Chicago Tribune. Huffington Post selected Duluth as one of "12 Midwestern Spots that are Awesome in the Summer," No. 4, to be exact. Susi Boxberg from Motorrad News wrote about motorcycling for this publication in Austria and Germany. Gene said she was fascinated by the Aerial Lift Bridge and actually extended her stay to take more photos for her story.
Enger Golf Course was highlighted in Stephan Guertler's article in Austria's Extra Golf Magazine. Gene then took him to Enger Tower to make the connection between the course and its landmark namesake. Pilot Getaway Magazine featured Duluth as a city that's "Cooler By the Lake."
Lake Superior was also the primary focus of a documentary on Minnesota by an Italian film crew led by Ida Cortoni. The program aired on the popular Italian travel show "Kilimangiaro" in November and will repeat several times in the year ahead.
This publicity generates interest and provides exposure to viewers and readers across the globe without impacting the promotional budget. That's what I call priceless.
Anna Tanski is president/CEO of Visit Duluth and lives in Hermantown with her husband, Jason. She has two children, Allison and Steven. She’s a native of the Twin Ports, born and raised in Superior, hence a Green Bay Packer fan to the core. Email her at email@example.com .