Joint powers council whose mission is to enhance the economic base of Natrona County through tourism. Its primary objective is to encourage more and longer visitor stays through marketing programs aimed at the convention/meeting, individual, motorcoach and special events markets.
Client: Visit Casper
How do you ensure that voters understand the impact and benefit of a tax they’re responsible for passing and has significant economic benefit to our community?
Hinge Studio began working with Visit Casper in August of 2018 to provide overall strategy and influence local perception about Visit Casper and the impacts and benefits of tourism on the local community.
For the first initiative, Hinge Studio executed the Lodging Tax Education Effort. Every four years, Natrona County voters are presented the opportunity to pass the Natrona County Lodging Tax. The monies from this tax are used for advertising and promotion of Natrona County. Hinge Studio created a multi-media campaign to educate voters on what the Lodging Tax is, that they should expect to see it on the ballot, how they don’t actually pay this tax in most cases, and the impact and benefits of the tax to our community. This campaign included:
· Presentation Material Design & Content – Hinge Studio created a presentation and support materials for a speaking tour with all municipalities, the County, and community service organizations.
· Messaging – Hinge Studio developed messaging to utilize throughout the 2018 Lodging Tax Education Effort to keep all stakeholders, influencers and communicators on the same key points.
· Influencer Outreach – Along with Visit Casper, Hinge Studio identified a group of influencers to contact to help share messaging as well as secured six key influencers to assist with media relations and advertising.
· Media Relations – Hinge Studio secured an Op Ed for Visit Casper and wrote six Letters to the Editor for key influencers. Hinge Studio worked with the influencers to finalize the Letters and submitted them on their behalf.
· Social Media – We created and grew a private “Friends of Natrona County Tourism” Facebook group. Participants were influencers in the community and tourism proponents. Hinge Studio created a content calendar for the 10 weeks leading up to election day. Content included many of the Visit Casper successes, projects, grant recipients, and stories from the six key influencers. Additionally, existing Visit Casper video was used to share three of these influencer’s testimonies. We then shared content to the “Friends of Natrona County Tourism” page and asked for friends to share on their personal and business pages.
· Radio Advertising – Hinge Studio purchased and managed radio buy for key influencers to call in and have discussions about what the lodging tax is and why it’s important to them. We opted for call-ins instead of ad spots because they felt more natural and relatable.
Following the successful passage of the tax, Hinge Studio assisted with the preparation of the Visit Casper’s strategic plan. Visit Casper’s Strategic Plan includes goals, direction and KPIs for all areas of its business. It is the guiding document for the organization.
Next, Hinge Studio created an Annual Report for Visit Casper to utilize to show goals, efforts, accomplishments and upcoming priorities to its board, stakeholders, and the local community. The Annual Report included images, infographics and content to communicate the efforts of the previous year and layout priorities for the future. Additionally, Hinge Studio developed a presentation to be given locally during National Travel & Tourism Week. This presentation showcased the strides Visit Casper made the previous year.
All materials followed Visit Casper’s brand guidelines. This Effort resulted in increased brand awareness for Visit Casper and the Lodging Tax, participation of 39 influencers, a Facebook reach of over 46,000, and the 2018 Lodging Tax passing at 76.6%, 7.32% higher than the previous election. Efforts are ongoing and continue to positively influence the local community.