Stillwater News Press

February 26, 2014

CRISTY MORRISON: What is a destination marketing organization?


Stillwater News Press

STILLWATER, Okla. — As we continue to educate visitors and residents alike about the complimentary services provided by the Visit Stillwater team, we realize many aren’t familiar with the role and mission of Visit Stillwater as a Destination Marketing Organization.

According to Bill Geist, author of Destination Leadership for Boards and a DMO industry leader, he defines the end goal of a tourism strategy for all DMOs as “increased visitor spending of new dollars in a community.”

Visit Stillwater, is your local Destination Marketing Organization. We promote Stillwater for the primary purpose of enhancing Stillwater’s economy, image and quality of life through the promotion, marketing, development and growth in the number of visitors.

Our efforts are ultimately directed to increased visitor awareness, satisfaction and spending in our community.

Because the primary focus of marketing and sales efforts are outside of our community, residents may not realize the reach and scope of the efforts extended by your DMO. We market Stillwater on behalf of the community directly to:

Event and meeting coordinators ranging from businesses, corporations, trade associations, agriculture, athletics, religious, educational, social and fraternal organizations.  Some of the tools used to market to these customers include sales prospecting, direct sales in major markets, sales blitzes, meeting planner and niche market trade shows, advertising in targeted visitor markets, Visit Stillwater’s online resources and printed meeting planner information guides.

Leisure travel visitors by marketing Stillwater through targeted advertising in travel publications both in Oklahoma and regionally, along with a growing social media and website presence. The 24/7 Visitor Information Center located at the west entrance into Stillwater is a hub for travel and tourist resources with over 75 brochures, maps, magazines, menus and more to assist visitors during their Stillwater stay.

Travel media through public relations efforts that result in stories, news and publicity of Stillwater, featuring our events and attractions.  The Visit Stillwater team shares the Stillwater story during one-on-one appointments at the Travel Media Showcase with leading print, broadcast and online travel media representatives. Our marketing manager goes on the road with Frontier Country industry partners for a regional media blitz. T

his allows us to meet face to face with newspaper editors and radio personalities to share all that is happening in Stillwater.

It is going that extra mile, literally, in order to raise awareness about our great community. We also host members of the media, including travel writers, in our community in order for them to experience our attractions, enjoy our restaurants and interact with our friendly residents.

Although not typically a priority of a DMO, your Visit Stillwater team is also dedicated to assisting locally based meeting and event planners to get the word out about their events. We recognize the friendly reputation Stillwater residents have as one of our best sales tools.

The more successful our local events are, the greater the likelihood events can grow and expand, creating more opportunity to attract out of town visitors and ultimately share the Stillwater experience.

For the most current and up-to-date information in regard to the Stillwater hospitality industry, go to www.VisitStillwater.org and “Like” Visit Stillwater on Facebook. You may even win one of our online contests throughout the year.

Cristy Morrison is executive director of Visit Stillwater, 2617 W. 6th Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074. She can be reached at cristy@visitstillwater.org or by calling 405-743-3697.