Message from Mary

MaryMarch came in like a lion in Ohio, and the same can be said for the work we are doing at TourismOhio to aggressively market the state as a relevant travel destination.

As springtime emerges, it brings a fresh look and new hope for the future. TourismOhio is embracing this season of change as we develop new, impactful messaging for the state. One of the strategic pillars from the PlantoWin is Branding and Marketing Communications, so I want you to be assured about the work we are doing to promote Ohio through spring and summer.

TourismOhio has selected two Ohio-based marketing agencies to create the brand architecture, develop creative and buy media. Cult Marketing will assist with the branding and creative services work and Marcus Thomas LLC was selected to conduct media planning and ad placement to promote Ohio tourism. I am encouraged by the level of interest we received during the selection process and am ready get down to work on identifying an emotional and head-turning brand that will take Ohio tourism to a new level. We have a fast-paced timeline to begin rolling out a new brand and now have the partners in place to make it happen!

While the branding work gets underway, Ohio is in the mix as travelers plan their spring and summer travel. The Spring/Summer Co-Op advertising includes print, radio and digital campaigns with a call to action to order or download the 2015 Ohio Travel Guide and app. In fact, the Co-Op investment from TourismOhio and industry partners is up $250,000 from where it was a year ago, totaling $1.5 million (an increase of almost 20%). Creative was also developed for print publications such as Country Living Magazine and a regional newspaper insert which will go out Sunday, May 17. In addition, be on the lookout for a 12-page Ohio insert, featuring 20 only-in-Ohio experiences in the May/June issue of Midwest Living.

Public Relations has been busy working with WBNS (Columbus), WDNT (Dayton), and more highlighting everything from our beautiful State Parks and wineries to Ohio spring break ideas and new travel opportunities for 2015. And of course, March Madness! Three Ohio cities will play host to the NCAA games this year – Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland. It’s a great opportunity to showcase all Ohio has to offer in these regions and beyond and we are working with local CVBs to capitalize on this national spotlight opportunity.

TourismOhio is also hard at work building a new website for DiscoverOhio.com from scratch. You told us that creating a more engaging and inspiring digital experience for travelers was critically important and we are delivering. Thank you to those who took the time to give us feedback on the online database of attractions and destinations so we can make improvements. The new website launch is also scheduled for summer 2015.

During this season of change, I appreciate your continued support as we execute on the Strategic Plan you helped create to drive sustainable growth for the future of tourism in Ohio.

For the Good of Ohio,

Mary L. Cusick

Posted On: March 18, 2015