Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Laurie Gelb's brilliant plan to promote Delaware

On Tuesday, April 6, 2010, the NEws Journal published a great article by Gary Soulsman about how Laurie Gelb of Trellist is calling on all of us to help promote Delaware through a variety of web sites - here's an excerpt:

Her pitch was to get Delawareans posting on portals like TripAdvisor, City-Data and Virtual Tourist as well as sites dealing with interests such as birding, boating and dining out.
That's because visitors to those sites, who will make decisions about travel and relocation, have little knowledge of Delaware, she says.
"We've all had unique experiences in Delaware that we can share," Gelb says. "I'm sure right now there are people wondering if they move to Delaware where they would be most happy.
"Or they're thinking, if they're driving through the mid-Atlantic what's worth seeing?"
So, we contacted Laurie and asked what sites should we visit and start posting to make this happen - here's her response:

The way I look at it, any user-generated content re DE is grist for the mill. So my list of UGC “types” includes pics, video, reviews, calendar listings, attraction listings, itineraries, tips, ratings, badges from portals (e.g. rated restaurants/lodging/attractions should d/l their badges from TripAdvisor and put them on their Web sites bc then people are more likely to click through to the portals), hyperlinks to other content, etc.
That makes the list of sites/potential cross-links pretty eclectic, but here’s a sampling:
  • VirtualTourist, TripAdvisor and other travel portals
  • Zagat, Chowhound and other eatery boards
  • Eventful, and other calendars, including calendars of concerts, festivals, art exhibits
  • Yelp, Yahoo and other review sites
  • City-data and other relo portals
  • YouTube and anywhere else you can place video or links to YouTube [e.g. very easy to feature your vid in a Flash shell on another site]
  • Flickr,  Picasa Web albums and other photo libraries
  • Local photo streams like TNJ and natl streams like CNN iReport for news events
  • Affinity portals for hobbies (birding, antiquing, hiking, golfing, fishing…)
  • Link to your UGC by commenting on others’ articles, reviews and blogs, as appropriate, as well as links from FB and Twitter
  • Use widgets for your platform(s), if available, that permit random display/slide shows of photos and/or links to other networks, e.g. Flickr Profile Widget on your blog
OK folks, let's make this happen!


  1. While this is great, and there is surely value in doing so, few are selfless enough to spend the time and energy doing it (myself included).

    Someone needs to rally, organize, and lead those who have the most to gain to get this done. Think... who has the most to gain (especially in the near-term) by reaching out to, interacting with, and attracting visitors or new residents to Delaware? Simple. To start, how about Realtors, tourism and hospitality industry folks, and the "destinations" (DE State Parks, Winterthur, DE Nature Society, DE Children's Museum, etc).

    Before you consider shooting back a reply along the lines of "we can all gain" from these efforts - yes, I get it. However, near-term results are what motivate most average humans. Those whose daily lives are most directly related to, or impacted by, out-of-staters coming to DE should be the ones doing this.

    I truly believe this is a good opportunity for someone to step up and lead a worthwhile effort. Who will it be?

  2. Dela Where ? Unless you live in the contiguous states right around Delaware, most people don't think of Delaware as a destination they just have to visit. Yet the Small Wonder has a lot to offer many people.

    In general unless your business relies on the tourist trade for it's livelihood, it's doubtful your going to take all the steps suggested in the above article to promote your business.

    Our business, Tall Pines Campground does rely on the tourist industry to attract people to Delaware to go Camping. And yes I have spent many hours getting us linked up with various tourist and campground related sites and soon we will be hooked up with Go Camping America. So I believe I'm doing my part in attracting new visitors to Delaware. "Near-term" results are what I'm going for.

    I agree with smallbizphil. Those of us who rely on the tourism industry, realtors, etc. should be the ones to lead the way, but I also believe that there needs to be someone, a group or organization to head up this initiative to attract new people to the Small Wonder and organize our combined efforts.

  3. I agree that most of us have lives beyond the Web -- exactly what makes us qualified DE resources.

    So I wasn't thinking that a few people would spend all day posting (counterproductive when it amounts to shilling).

    But if everyone who knows anything about DE uploaded a picture, comment, review, rating even a couple of times a year, the impact could be significant. You take a summer trip, have a good meal, see something interesting, you post.

    DE barely exists on a lot of content hubs, yet most Delawareans regularly visit one such (your favorite mag, blog, board...).

    We can also boost the impact by tagging content with keywords beyond "Delaware" that are descriptive, e.g. "fishing," "sunset," "John Hiatt." As social media and search converge, we just want people who like to fish for blackfish to find Delaware.