As COVID-19 gutted the tourism world, it also removed many reliable storytelling strategies from consideration. Robust video and photo shoots with high production values were out, and ads encouraging travel required a new and more subdued tone.
But we didn’t want potential visitors to forget about all the great things to see, do, hear and eat in Greenwood, SC. So, we helped our longtime client and partner change tactics. We again gave the voice to the people of Greenwood, as we collaborated to promote blogs and virtual experiences.
The new content not only continued to keep Greenwood in front of potential future visitors, it also allowed the town to spread a message of fun, optimism and creativity during a time that has left many people feeling disheartened.
We featured stories that showcased the innovation and community spirit of Greenwood. The blogs gave publicity to Greenwood’s rich music scene by promoting local musicians’ Facebook Live performances, and their collaborative video of their fundraising performance of Don MacLean’s “The Day the Music Died.”
Continuing the arts theme, Greenwood Community Theatre’s executive director Stephen Gilbert told readers all about the scheduled Penguin Project performance of the Lion King Junior, postponed by Covid-19. But the spirit and creativity of the group, and the bonds of friendship were not to be denied. Instead, they created a lovable, uplifting video of “Don’t Stop Believing,” sung by each family separately and edited together, and released on “Un-Opening Night.”
Restaurant owners and managers shared the stories of setting up fundraisers for employees in need. And Lara Hudson, Uptown Development Corporation manager, described the planning, assistance and community support that have gone into helping Uptown’s locally owned businesses stay healthy during the pandemic.
Gwen Gunnells, co-owner of a marine supply business, shared her history of growing up on beautiful Lake Greenwood, her present-day work to protect and preserve the best of lake life, and the growth of recreational opportunities on the lake, from a paddler’s blueway to a jungle float.
The South Carolina Festival of Flowers, one of the area’s signature events, had to be postponed, but Greenwood’s famous topiaries were still on display throughout Uptown. As part of our effort to promote the topiaries for walking and driving tours, we activated influencer Megan Pinckney. Megan and her children were able to visit several Greenwood attractions, shops and restaurants, as well as showing off the topiaries. Her blog and Instagram posts and stories generated 85,414 total engagements and 104,400 total impressions.
We also provided PR and social media support, in addition to the production of a digital ad series to promote the town and remind travelers that beautiful Greenwood is waiting.