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Columbus once again in the New York Times

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Columbus once again in the New York Times

Viewing 15 posts - 196 through 210 (of 227 total)
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  • #392439

    JonMyers
    Participant

    myliftkk wrote >>

    JonMyers wrote >>
    Drew, I’m headed to West Africa in January. The thought process to visit started with a conversation with a friend, a spark, which prompted me to check out the website for a music festival outside of Timbuktu.
    The website was decent, and prompted me to do further research.
    If the website for a music festival in the desert outside of Timbuktu can do a better job of communicating than EC that’s issue. lol

    Of course, one’s enthusiasm might be tempered if they researched this link…

    There is a serious threat of terrorist activities in Mali’s three northern regions (Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal) as the terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) continues to use northern Mali as an active area of operations as well as a safe haven, notably for detaining hostages.
    [url=http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_962.html#crime]US State Department[/url]

    Then again, apparently we’ve got our own Al Queda problems… ;)

    True, I knew those things going into it. I’m starting in Dakar first and working my way down. We’ll see what happens. :)

    #392440

    drew
    Participant

    myliftkk wrote >>
    It’s not inconsequential that I don’t ever visit visitor bureau’s. It’s a habit that’s not uncommon among the vast majority of people who travel because there’s some existing connection between them and the place they’re going to.

    I don’t understand this thinking. If you can admit that there are a significant number of people who don’t have an existing connection to Columbus, then that’d seem to be the end of that line of argument… different marketing channels for different people, no?

    myliftkk wrote >>
    ECs weakness, and the weakness of visitor bureau sites in general, is that they suffer from “all things to all people” syndrome. There’s no cure for that, technology be damned. I don’t visit NYCs visitor bureau when I want to find industrial clubs to visit in NYC, I hit up someplace like vampirefreaks or people I already know that live in/around the city who share the same interests. Expecting EC to be experts in everything and masters of communication is irresponsible.

    I don’t think anyone’s arguing that visitors bureaus aren’t inherently generalists. I showed links a few pages back to suggest how a generalist can be a generalist and do it better than EC. Frankly, I don’t even think that EC is particularly bad at a lot of what they do, but their identity (and subsequent interpretation of identity into various marketing channels) is just cringeworthy.

    #392441

    myliftkk
    Participant

    @jon – Why the fascination w/ Portland as the competition? I don’t even see the two as remotely similar unless it is an illogical joining because Portland is considered progressive? Columbus’ competitors, to the extent that it has serious ones, are it’s large neighbors: Indy, Cincy, Pitts, Detr, Cleve, Chi-town, etc.

    What has Columbus lost to Portland? The insurance industry? Nope, still here. The banking industry? Nope, still here. The mass apparel industry? Nope, still here, again. Artists? Nope, the professionals usually go to Southern Cali (where the industry is). Hipsters? Maybe, I dunno.

    Maybe it’s because I lived next to the theme park industry for so long, but all you’re suggesting is visual trickery in lieu of substantive difference. At the end of the day, or era, you’ll snap that picture in many cities, and the value of that niche will trend toward zero, or already be there. Sure, they’re concocting an image, an image which captures some peoples imaginations for a time, ’til they realize that’s all that it is. More and more, people know that visitor’s bureau are smoke and mirrors outfits and put the appropriate amount of stock in them and their “products”.

    FYI, the fact that they even term Portland “Underground Above Ground” is pretty funny. “Underground” is a term I associate strictly with the Midwestern industrial music scene from the 80s/90s which certainly never migrated its center to Portland. But, how would their visitor’s bureau know that…

    #392442

    myliftkk
    Participant

    drew wrote >>

    myliftkk wrote >>
    It’s not inconsequential that I don’t ever visit visitor bureau’s. It’s a habit that’s not uncommon among the vast majority of people who travel because there’s some existing connection between them and the place they’re going to.

    I don’t understand this thinking. If you can admit that there are a significant number of people who don’t have an existing connection to Columbus, then that’d seem to be the end of that line of argument… different marketing channels for different people, no?

    myliftkk wrote >>
    ECs weakness, and the weakness of visitor bureau sites in general, is that they suffer from “all things to all people” syndrome. There’s no cure for that, technology be damned. I don’t visit NYCs visitor bureau when I want to find industrial clubs to visit in NYC, I hit up someplace like vampirefreaks or people I already know that live in/around the city who share the same interests. Expecting EC to be experts in everything and masters of communication is irresponsible.

    I don’t think anyone’s arguing that visitors bureaus aren’t inherently generalists. I showed links a few pages back to suggest how a generalist can be a generalist and do it better than EC. Frankly, I don’t even think that EC is particularly bad at a lot of what they do, but their identity (and subsequent interpretation of identity into various marketing channels) is just cringeworthy.

    But, the majority of people who do travel to Columbus have a connection here. Columbus isn’t a huge ignorant tourist draw, and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be, no matter how many pictures of bikes EC snaps. It’s almost always people’s prior connection to the area that draws them here. And to the extent Columbus is further placed on the map, it’s entrepreneurs that are doing that placing and the marketing.

    If EC capitalizes on that to an extent fine, if they don’t exploit it to the maximum potential, the train keeps rolling.

    #392443

    JonMyers
    Participant

    I’m not suggesting visual trickery or smoke and mirrors.

    Outsiders need a cue, a message, something to remember about Columbus.

    That simple.

    #392444
    Chris Sunami
    Chris Sunami
    Participant

    RoundTowner wrote >>
    Last time I checked, there was nothing wrong with being WHITE. And if you diversity, Columbus has the Second largest Somalia population and is the largest breeding ground for TERRORISTS !!!

    In case you’re wondering why people responded so negatively to your post –outside of the CAPITAL LETTERS:

    “nothing wrong with being WHITE”: No one said there was. The poster you were responding to was claiming (wrongly, I believe) that Columbus has a lack of racial diversity. Right or wrong, it was intended as a statement of fact, not a value judgment, making your rush to defend the white race seem a bit odd.

    “if you diversity”
    : We all make typos, especially on the internet, but this suggests you didn’t take the time to reread your own post, let alone those of other people.

    Also, it doesn’t fit this forum. While I am often no fan of what others post here, nearly everyone here at least takes the time to proofread their own writing.

    “Second Largest Somalia population”
    : Somalia is the country, the people are called “Somali”. This makes it seem like you don’t know much about the Somali and don’t care to learn.

    “largest breeding ground for TERRORISTS”: The way you wrote this makes it seem like you think diversity = terrorism and that all Somali are terrorists. That may not be what you meant, but that’s why you got accused of bigotry.

    #392445

    MikeReed
    Participant

    I’m surprised Mike Brown hasn’t stepped in here to crack some skulls together.

    #392446

    drew
    Participant

    myliftkk wrote >>
    But, the majority of people who do travel to Columbus have a connection here. Columbus isn’t a huge ignorant tourist draw, and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be, no matter how many pictures of bikes EC snaps. It’s almost always people’s prior connection to the area that draws them here.

    I’m mystified by why you would assume that. Does having to attend a convention equate to having a connection? Being recruited by a firm in town? Knowing that Columbus the largest city near you?

    Would any of these connections, among others, preclude one from investigating a city otherwise?

    The EC website is ranked in the top 2% of all websites based upon traffic (1.2%, actually) by Alexa. Is that indicative of nothing?

    As joev mentioned earlier, it’s a tremendous mistake in marketing to assume that any given individual’s approach to something is anywhere close to universal.

    myliftkk wrote >> And to the extent Columbus is further placed on the map, it’s entrepreneurs that are doing that placing and the marketing.

    I can’t help but feel as though you’re drawing arbitrary lines where gradients are more appropriate. It’s not either/or, it’s cumulative. Believe me, I don’t doubt for a second that there are people that are inclined to research a city based solely upon their defined interests. I just don’t think they’re as numerous (or that people are as homogenous) as you suggest they must be.

    And, if they are, I’d have serious questions about why EC should exist in its current form (not to mention doubts about the criteria Alexa uses for ranking websites!).

    #392447

    drew
    Participant

    MikeReed wrote >>
    I’m surprised Mike Brown hasn’t stepped in here to crack some skulls together.

    I’d welcome the opportunity for discussion.

    #392448

    ja
    Member

    Let’s face it. Columbus is very suburban in nature. That’s not meant to be negative, but it is what it is. Many people like the suburban attributes of wide streets and space between buildings and properties, cleanliness, ample and convenient parking, and general safe and secure neighborhoods. Because of these wonderful attributes, it goes largely unnoticed as do most suburbs around the nation that generally blend into one another. It is still a great place to raise a family without the hassles of big city problems.

    #392449

    drew
    Participant

    MikeReed wrote >>
    I’m surprised Mike Brown hasn’t stepped in here to crack some skulls together.

    Why am I not surprised that the skulls of all participants in this thread are intact?

    #392450

    HeySquare
    Participant

    drew wrote >>
    I showed links a few pages back to suggest how a generalist can be a generalist and do it better than EC. Frankly, I don’t even think that EC is particularly bad at a lot of what they do, but their identity (and subsequent interpretation of identity into various marketing channels) is just cringeworthy.

    Drew… you didn’t answer my question earlier. What exactly do you object to in the EC website? I get you think the color scheme is a little garish… is that it?

    I get that you all think that Portland is wonderful, but the presence of bike lanes and coffee shops alone will not inspire me to visit a place.

    #392451

    drew
    Participant

    HeySquare wrote >>
    Drew… you didn’t answer my question earlier. What exactly do you object to in the EC website? I get you think the color scheme is a little garish… is that it?
    I get that you all think that Portland is wonderful, but the presence of bike lanes and coffee shops alone will not inspire me to visit a place.

    Yep, I think the color scheme is childish looking and unpleasant, and the brand identity is disturbingly juvenile. I hear you in thinking that pimping bikes and coffee isn’t necessarily inspiring, but I’m of the opinion that something as generalist in nature as a visitor’s bureau website isn’t necessarily going to be inspiring for most. It’s primary goal, aside from simply providing basic information, is to not be off-putting, and I think the EC website is.

    Another way to think about it it is that people who are looking for something good (and are therefore preconditioned to expect something good) in Columbus are going to seek out whatever it is they’re specifically interested in. Those who are less committed to the idea of coming here may be more inclined to browse the EC website… and immediately get the impression that the city isn’t geared towards them due to the juvenile nature of the visuals.

    It’s a tough thing – the effects of a visual identity don’t work on a rational level. But they do work – be it for or against – and big business invests astounding amounts of cash into making sure that they work for them.

    #392452

    Mike Brown
    Participant

    This is a great CU thread, I finally read all the comments.

    Successful branding is simple, true and repeated for years to be meaningful. It is not a slogan and it cannot be everything to everyone. Successful city branding requires many entities to share in the overall themes, but deliver them in diverse ways, some subtle, some overt. There’s a lot more discussion on this to come!

    Having an image and telling a story does matter. Our Columbus stands ready to move into a higher level of competition, and we must make the most of upcoming opportunities like the Bicentennial and 2020 plan. Image affects businesses looking for recruits. It affects the Chamber when they try to bring in new companies. It affects travel and tourism (hospitality and leisure are 10% of the local economy, affecting some 62,000 jobs). It affects colleges and research facilities ability to get the best minds. It affects our ability to keep creative people building their lives and careers (or art, music, code, food, company, etc.). It impacts our civic pride and residents’ desire to get engaged in making Columbus a better place.

    Experience Columbus is on a mission – to make it easy and fun for thousands of visitors, fans, tourists and conventioneers to connect to Columbus’ hotels, events, arts, restaurants and services. We sell 400,000 hotel rooms a year and touch hundreds of thousands more people on visits. We are often talking to large groups planning 3-10 years in advance of a major conference or event, but also do tourism marketing to regional and national outlets.

    Many of the national story placements you read about Columbus neighborhoods or restaurants (or ice cream) are the result of the reporters Experience Columbus brings to town each year for tours. We are one part of the overall story-telling machine, and that’s why we are so interested in finding new and authentic ways of carrying forward the city’s image, through our Bicentennial in 2012 and beyond. We love the music and arts scene, we love our foodie adventurers, we love the folks bringing edgier energy to the urban heart of the city, but they are only one part of the whole Destination Columbus package.

    One of the toughest facts of it all is that, to be successful, all we really need is for people to quit being so modest, believe in the thing they love about Columbus and then share it. A solid image can flow from word of mouth, based on what we already know is true and good about the community. While that may take some time (and head cracking!), it is helpful for entities like the Chamber and Experience Columbus to have pieces of the story to promote to audiences who bring economic action to town. There are hundreds of groups we could be pitching with a focused message and larger budget – that fills hotel beds, sells tickets to events and shows, packs restaurants and boosts retail sales. That work benefits everyone. It helps us even more if residents, colleges and companies are proud and promoting similar themes about our city.

    There will be many chances to discuss this issue in the coming months, and I hope this helps folks understand why we continue to push to tell our story nationally and build civic pride locally.

    Big thanks to all the folks out there actually doing things that make this city our own brand of freaky, cool, fun and delicious. They are the real heroes of the story that will be told.

    #392453

    Mercurius
    Participant

    Really, I think we need a regional marketing plan:

    For New York City, L.A.
    Columbus, Ohio: Tapped by the Blue Fairy

    For Philly, D.C. and Baltimore (east coast)
    Columbus, Ohio: A Bit of Everything – and You Won’t Get Stabbed

    For the Southwest
    Columbus, Ohio: Water, Check. Arable Land, Check.

    For the rest of California
    Columbus, Ohio: A City, Without the Pretense

    For the Pacific Northwest
    Columbus, Ohio: Where You Don’t Have to be a Barista

    For Florida
    Columbus, Ohio: Not Where You Go to Die

Viewing 15 posts - 196 through 210 (of 227 total)

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