The Wrightsville Beach Marketing Advisory Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday, Dec. 10, to send a representative to the Brand Identity Leadership Team following hesitation from previous meetings.
Chairman Pres Davenport said the committee ultimately talked about whether it wanted to send someone and made it clear during the November meeting that participation did not mean approval of the outcome.
Nicholas Montoya, general manager of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, will serve as the representative.
“I don’t think it hurts us to participate,” Davenport said.
Sue Bulluck, who was absent from the November meeting, has vocally been against the initiative, but said she is in favor of sending someone for a monitoring capacity.
During a separate old business item, Tom Hickey, Clean Design marketing director, showed a graph with the drop in TripAdvisor rankings without paid ads, and again requested the committee to consider using the $10,000, which is currently allocated as a TripAdvisor reinvestment fund.
“A visitor from TripAdvisor is a highly qualified visitor,” Hickey said. “… We think it’s a terrific platform.”
The investment in a WRAL banner ad and custom e-blast remains as the alternative choice.
The committee previously voted against funding for TripAdvisor in the fall marketing campaign and decided to stick with that decision.
In other motions, the committee unanimously voted to appropriate $5,600 in rollover funds for custom content written from Madden Media of Tucson, Ariz., the company that will be producing content for the website. The investment guarantees 5,000 total clicks and 500,000 impressions. The committee also voted to spend $245 to place Facebook and Twitter feeds on the Wrightsville Beach website, with Montoya dissenting.
Earlier in the meeting, Hickey presented the results from media outreach in the fall, totaling $91,572 spent between July 1 and Oct. 31.
The 2013 amount spent is significantly less than the $122,031 spent in 2012. Hickey credited the drop in expense to the emphasis on the spring season campaign. But the amount of inquiries was up from 2012 by more than 10,000.
The state of North Carolina is the focus of media outreach at 75 to 80 percent, with a secondary focus in Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The breakdown shows that the majority, or 65 percent, was spent online, with print and TV as the second and third most prominent outlets.
“Online was really a September and October push,” Hickey said. “Print and TV were September focused.”
Four committee members’ two-year terms expire in January 2014: Sue Bulluck’s, Nicholas Montoya’s, John Andrews’ and Kevin Cottet’s.
“Three terms is the max, so some of us are in the last years of our life on here,” Bulluck said. “New blood is always appreciated.”
The next committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 14.