By 1812Blockhouse

In a presentation to the Mansfield City Council on Tuesday evening, Lee Tasseff, President of Destination Mansfield – Richland County, profiled the organization’s yearly achievements. The focus was not only on operational efficiency but also on how they have undertaken the promotion of Richland County. This report marks the first comprehensive review of the organization’s activities for the past year and the impact of those efforts on local tourism.

A Year of Dynamic Promotion and Community Engagement

Destination Mansfield – Richland County experienced progress in local tourism and marketing in 2023. This year, they orchestrated an impressive array of promotional activities, including the creation of nine videos and captured over 700 photographs across 19 different locations. Their digital footprint expanded with eight digital campaigns, one of which spanned eight months, and two storytelling campaigns in partnership with TourismOhio. This full courrt approach was further augmented by their participation in eight social media campaigns, notable among them being the promotion for Airport Day.

Innovative Marketing and Strategic Partnerships

The year witnessed innovative strides in marketing and strategic collaborations. One such partnership was with the Buckeye Imagination Museum. The organization’s digital campaigns generated a staggering 6.5 million impressions, directing over 54,500 potential visitors to their website. Their most successful campaign featured the Kingwood Lego exhibition.

Tasseff said this about marketing: ““If you want Mansfield and Richland County to be out there, in the public, and having people reminded of the good things that happen here…you have to have that constant drumbeat, above the white noise, and the congestion of normal traffic to be recognized.”

Talking about downtown, Tasseff shared support for the Main Street Corridor project. He noted two-thirds of downtown visitors on a given day are non-residents. He also noted the continuing significant influence of Baby Boomers in the travel economy.

Branding and Visitor Engagement: A New Era

The year also marked a new era in branding and visitor engagement. The creation of a life-sized mural featuring Andy and Red from “The Shawshank Redemption” became a popular photo spot for visitors. This initiative, along with the strategic placement of a brochure box in front of the office and the integration of the community brand into marketing, has significantly enhanced visitor experiences. Additionally, the increased focus on visitor intelligence gathering has allowed for more targeted marketing to cities with strong interests in Mansfield’s offerings.

Awards and Recognition: A Testament to Success

The hard work and innovation have not gone unnoticed. The organization’s Visitors Guide triumphed in its category in statewide awards, and their marketing campaign dominated with four out of five finalists in another. This recognition serves as an awesome validation of their efforts and a testament to their impactful branding and marketing strategies.

Looking Ahead: Shawshank 30 and World Heritage Designation

Looking forward, the organization is already gearing up for “Shawshank 30”, with plans rapidly progressing and billboards set to go up shortly. Furthermore, the organization is keen on leveraging the potential crossover benefits from nearby World Heritage designated sites, like the one in nearby Newark.

As Tasseff summarized, “Everything we do is designed to benefit the county as a whole.” This statement encapsulates the essence of Destination Mansfield – Richland County’s mission – to not only promote the area but to ensure that every action taken contributes to the broader well-being and growth of the community.

Image: Destination Mansfield – Richland County

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