Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Let’s say that you are going to start a car dealership. Let’s also imagine that, without argument, you have the best selection of vehicles at prices far better than any of your competitors.
In the pecking order of things to do, your first task would be to find a good lot to start your new business. After browsing the market, you find that there’s a wonderful three-acre tract of land located along an old dirt road deep in the forest. You also find a three-acre lot on Franklin Road adjacent to a busy intersection. Given that both are comparable in price, which do you choose? Obviously, the Franklin Road location is optimal.
Unfortunately, as a city parks and recreation agency, we’ve spent too much time in the forest. Point being, we can have the best services at the best price, but if nobody knows about them, we’re still falling far short as a recreational service provider.
If you’re of the traditional mindset that views parks and recreation as a haven for just youth sports and swimming lessons, I invite you to log onto our website, PlayRoanoke.com, to see the fresher side of our business. Along with sports leagues and swimming pool management, our athletics division just finished a kickball league with nearly 40 teams. And yes, that’s the same sport that we all played on the elementary school playground as kids. They also just “checked one off the bucket list” by guiding a 79-year-young lady through her first skydiving trip.
Just a couple doors down, our outdoor division staff is continuously conjuring up a variety of unique recreational adventures. They are in the midst of a highly popular “ride and dine” series that leads cyclists through downtown with stops at many of the city’s finest eating establishments. These are all unique and out-of-the-box opportunities that have taken place just in the month of August.
So, as our pledge moving forward to support and promote these best-in-class activities, you’ll see us relocate our marketing message from the desolate forest to that bustling Franklin Road intersection. Atop that, we’ll add a huge marquee sign that brightly displays our activities in the form of a rejuvenated three-year marketing plan designed to target and inform recreation enthusiasts throughout the Roanoke area.
In the past, our main method of advertising was through our Play Magazine, which is basically a catalog of activities that we offer. Outside of that, we stayed pretty quiet. This new marketing plan will boldly display all of our wonderful services just like that brightly lit marquee sign does for our hypothetical car dealership on Franklin Road.
According to a recent Pew study, more than 50 percent of Americans are carrying a smart phone. That statistic alone tells us that the way we all get our information has certainly changed over the last decade. For marketers, this highly tech-savvy society brings a higher level of excitement along with an added level of complexity. Gone are the days of just running a few radio spots and billboard advertisements. As an agency that markets our services to the general public, we need to bring our message to you no matter where you look, or even don’t look, for your daily information.
According to Mercury Communications, a well-established branding firm in Montana, more than 45 percent of consumers judge an organization by the quality of its website. Six months ago, Roanoke Parks and Recreation didn’t even have a website. Today, PlayRoanoke.com is officially live and functioning as our one-stop-shop for all things recreation in the area.
Getting back to the message at hand, we know we have a host of wonderful activities that are fit for all genders and age groups. If you’re not hearing about them on a consistent basis, we’ll take full blame for that, but as we move forward, keep your eyes and ears open. Our goal as a department is to make it loud and clear to Roanokers that this is the place to come to be moved. So don’t be surprised if you see us pop up in your mail box, in your Facebook news feed or on a billboard. You may hear us on your favorite drive-time local radio station or catch a story about us in The Roanoke Times or local nightly news.
In an effort to better reach you, we’ll be tweeting, posting and blasting our message in the hopes that you’re one of those 50 percent glued to your smartphone. However, if you don’t happen to find us in any of these mediums, feel free to pick up your not-so-smart phone to give us a call. Our friendly staff will be more than happy to suggest a recreation opportunity that is certain to move your mind, body and spirit.
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