Taking a Tour of Indy [National Conference Recap]

Photo courtesy of visitindy.com.

Photo courtesy of visitindy.com.

Event: Career Tours

Organization: Visit Indy

Recap: Career Tours are one of my most anticipated events of the PRSSA National Conference, and today was no exception. I had the opportunity to spend a couple hours today networking with Visit Indy Communications Coordinators Morgan Snyder and Lisa Wallace. Visit Indy is a tourism-based public relations organization. Its goal is to bring both leisure and business travelers to Indianapolis. Because of the work Visit Indy has done through media relations, Indianapolis has been voted both the “Most Underrated Food City” by Condé Nast, and the “No. 11 Convention City in the U.S.” by USA Today. Its“#LoveIndy” campaign, which launched in 2015, has accumulated over 65,000 posts on Instagram. The campaign is simple: find the white “ndy” sculptures around Indy and take a photo with yourself filling in as the “I.”

Our group was given a small tour of the Indiana Convention Center. We were also able to go up to the Visit Indy conference room for a presentation by Morgan Snyder and Lisa Wallace about the work they do. We learned about the difference between selling to business travelers and leisure travelers, asked questions about engagement and saw statistics on the impact tourism public relations can have on a city such as Indianapolis. Both women went over their roles and the role of Visit Indy as a whole. They specifically focused on the importance of knowing your audience and maintaining great relationships. For this specific type of public relations, they explained, a relationship can literally make or break the bank.

Takeaways:

  1. Do your research learn your target audience. Make sure you are researching the places and people you think would bring something positive to your city.
  2. Know what works and what doesn’t. Attempting to communicate with publics that don’t have any interest in what Indy — or any other city — has to offer is a waste of resources.
  3. Network, network, network. You never know what opportunities you’ll have if you aren’t actively seeking them out. Getting earned media requires working with people and engaging in the conversation. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, because you have something great to offer.

Emmy Crist is a senior public relations major with a marketing minor at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She is actively involved on campus and is currently serving on the 2017 Regional Conference Board for UVU PRSSA as the director of graphic design and publications. She has a passion for planning events and hopes to utilize her skills long after graduation. She is also currently the team lead of a nonprofit client at the Wolverine PR Firm, UVU’s Student-run Firm. Emmy enjoys visual design and coding, social media, Taco Tuesdays and getting pampered at the spa. Follow her on Twitter @emmymcrist or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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