Andrea Johnson is the Director of Marketing and Communications at eXplore Lawrence Kansas and joined the HootBoard Visitor Information and Destination Marketing podcast. Bryan was particularly excited about this episode because he lives in Lawrence Kansas. You’ll get to see a very non-biased look at how much Lawrence Kansas is loved. Andrea shared great information about education, engaging influencers, content and website marketing, big event marketing in a university town, and other useful insights in the destination marketing industry. Enjoy!
0.00 – Intro
1:26 – We get to know Andrea Johnson who is the Director of Marketing and Communications at eXplore Lawrence where she is responsible for managing the Unmistakably Lawrence brand. Andrea markets Lawrence, Kansas as an unmistakable place to visit, and does so through various digital, social, print, and media tactics.
3:03 – We talk specifically about the education backgrounds, college majors we each have, and how our education worked its way into the careers we currently have. Andrea goes into finding tourism and destination marketing, and the career journey aspect right after graduating college.
6:51 – We learn how the term “Unmistakably Lawrence” came to be as a slogan.
8:05 – We express our love of Lawrence Kansas. We talk about what we believe makes it unmistakable, and how it stands out from other towns and cities in Kansas. Bryan talks about the income potential from Mass Street busking.
11:55 – We talk about the Virtual Press Trip as part of the Women in Travel Summit. It was supposed to come to Kansas City but got postponed due to Covid. Influencers and bloggers were brought together on a virtual press trip, and the team had 1 hour to show off Lawrence and what makes it special. It was a really great experience.
16:35 – Andrea talks about how events are looking now, and what is happening as the city starts to open back up.
19:36 – We talk about commencement and how Andrea worked with the city and university to engage the influx of new visitors.
25:35 – We discuss the role technology plays in delivering health information. This was good for covering the Covid situation and how to communicate restrictions for every out of state visitor. The digital communication role played a significant role in the ongoing change.
26:01 – We dig a little deeper on what organizing the graduation experience looked like. Since the last graduation was cancelled, there were actually two weekends that needed to be managed with graduating students.
29:58 – We start talking about the website, how it is designed, how the content experience benefits the users, and the more popular parts of the website.
33:15 – Establishing KPIs is an important part of any website redesign. We get into what the destination marketing website could look at as an achievement metric.
35:48 – Bryan expresses his love of the website’s best food and drink specials lists in Lawrence Kansas. The website does a great job of organizing the food and drinks specials, and it’s a great way for the local community to find the best food deals for them. We had to find out how popular it truly was.
38:00 – We learn about how university towns do a lot of marketing to the new students and families that come to town. There are many ways that people can engage with the new students in the area. We go into orientation, school visits, and the different ways college town marketing inspires students to get around the town.
43:04 – Every town with a CVB or DMO likely hosts conventions that are lesser known. Bryan loves learning about the hobbits, sellers, and other enthusiasts that meet up in areas, and he wanted to know what specific conventions happen in Lawrence of which he isn’t aware. He is surprised at the answer.
47:00 – We start saying our goodbyes, we ask Andrea to promote any links, websites, and events: Fall – September 4th Debut of Encountering John Brown Exhibit at Watkins Museum. Unmistakablylawrence.com. Follow on Youtube, facebook, twitter, and instagram.
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