What does the BRC do to market Breckenridge?
The last two columns have addressed the primary objectives of the 2005 Breckenridge marketing plan and the markets the Breckenridge Resort Chamber (BRC) targets. This column will address what each of the BRC marketing departments does to contribute to the overall marketing of Breckenridge. The marketing department consists of sales, special events, public relations, advertising and promotions and Internet.The job of these combined positions is to influence visitors to go through the complete marketing cycle: generating awareness of Breckenridge, creating interest in Breckenridge, inspiring desire to come to Breckenridge and driving action to book a trip to Breckenridge. The sales efforts, run by Brooke Roberts, focus on face-to-face interaction at trade shows with consumers, travel agents and meeting planners in cities around the country, and on hand-holding group meeting planners through the process of booking their groups into Breckenridge. She works closely with community partners to represent Breckenridge in cities such as Houston, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Denver.
This department also represents itself as the Breckenridge Convention and Visitors Bureau in the meetings market, since it is a term this market understands as representing the community as a whole.Special events are primarily designed to bring people to Breckenridge. The secondary benefits are to entertain people while they are here and to create local enjoyment as well. Events have typically been designed to bolster slower season visitation. Examples of these types of events are Oktoberfest, Ullr Fest and the International Snow Sculpture Championships. An important clarification on events: There are events that the BRC produces, such as those listed above, and those that are produced separately from the BRC, but that the BRC helps to promote, such as the Breckenridge Music Festival, the Toast of Breckenridge and many others.Only a small amount of the marketing budget goes to fund the BRC-produced event calendar. Most of the funds to produce these events are generated through sponsorships, merchandise sales and beverage sales at Oktoberfest.Public relations efforts, run by Kristen Petitt, focus on media relations and communications. Media coverage of Breckenridge is critical. Readers view the information provided by media as more objective than an ad and the coverage leverages the actual dollars we have to spend.For example, last year, public relations garnered $3.4 million worth of coverage for Breckenridge.
This department spends a lot of time building relationships with media because media are influencers of the general masses, i.e. their readers, viewers and listeners. The department also provides information to the community, such as The Scoop, Breckenridge copy points that can be used in non-BRC efforts, and annual media kits that go to 1,200 media representatives.Advertising and promotions efforts, run by Tammy Baca, include placing paid ads so we can be sure that the Breckenridge message is in place in our key markets, and generating additional exposure by leveraging ad buys into promotions.An example of how this works is when we purchase a bulk buy of ads in the Dallas Morning News and it wants to do a promotion that includes a trip giveaway. We work with the paper to provide the trip and Breckenridge gets additional exposure in the paper and on its partner radio stations. Through efforts like these, Breckenridge gained more than $600,000 worth of value beyond what we purchased last year, and will surpass $1 million this year. While the other departments rely on their influence on others to influence larger groups of people, this department can assure that the Breckenridge message is placed where it is the most relevant.Internet efforts, run by Brandon Quinn, include managing the BRC Web sites, monitoring Web site statistics, search engine optimization, sending regular e-newsletters to guests and facilitating online promotions. A redesign of the Web sites is planned for the new budget year.
Other efforts by the BRC include conducting research on who our customers are, what they do while they are here and how they rate the experiences that they have in Breckenridge. The BRC also produces the Official Breckenridge Vacation Planner, the town map, semiannual calendars, flyers to promote Breckenridge, the Meeting Planner Guide and a host of other communication pieces.Through all of these efforts, the BRC marketing staff leveraged its $1 million budget into $5.3 million worth of exposure and generated about 300 million marketing impressions for Breckenridge last year. If this information has raised any questions for you, please call me at (970) 453-2913, ext. 411, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will address them in a future column or individually.Also, we will be hosting a marketing open house at 2 p.m. Oct. 14 at Beaver Run.Corry Mihm is executive director of the Breckenridge Resort Chamber. She is writing a series of columns about BRC marketing efforts every Wednesday through Oct. 13. For past columns, please see the archive at http://www.summitdaily.com.
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