For the past few years, the Seaside Visitors Bureau has developed a very strong partnership with Entercom Portland. In addition to serving as our key radio station partner in the Portland Metro market, where you’ll likely hear advertisements promoting Seaside on 105.1 The Buzz, 97.1 Charlie and 92.3 Classic Rock, we’ve also been able to do some great email and SMS (text) marketing. Our contract provides us with the ability to send a handful of targeted emails each year while also giving us a chance to deliver promotional text messages up to twice per month to a database that’s nearing one thousand phone numbers.

At this point you might be wondering what’s so unique about these opportunities, or quite simply why am I telling you this? It’s two-fold. For one, I’ve been given the chance to talk about Seaside tourism in this space for more than five years now and it’s something that I realized I’ve never touched on. Secondly, these are opportunities that are available to businesses in Seaside that are interested in reaching the day or overnight visitor making a trip to the beach. Best of all, there’s no cost to participate as it’s something we’ve already built into our annual marketing plan budget.

Are you a business owner? Do you know a business owner, with a focus on visitors, that’s looking to try something a little different over the fall and winter months? Chances are, as a local in this community, you’re either one or the other and so I encourage you to read on.

The opportunities don’t stop with the email and text marketing. In the summer of 2015, we launched a Smartphone App for both Apple iOS and Android. Another tool — because of this App — at our disposal gives us the ability to send push notifications from the App and reach up to another 700 plus individuals. Many local businesses have taken a stab at creating an offer for this platform, and in several cases we’ve seen some solid results.

There are a couple of ways that you can get involved. You can send an email to info@seasideor.com with the subject “promotional offers” and then give us some detail of what you’d like to promote or talk about. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll also be bringing the opportunity into as many businesses as we can. Our summer intern, Roni Darling — a Seaside High School graduate and current college senior, worked on a project this summer to outline all of the businesses opportunities we have in a small booklet. She did an incredible job with this project.

Now that she’s back in school, a member of our staff will be hitting the ground to talk to as many people as possible and sharing the examples we created. Our newest employee, Ken Heman — you might recognize the name as a former radio host along the North Coast — will be leading that charge. Nicole Bailey has worked extensively on reaching out to businesses via phone and email and will also be assisting in these efforts from time to time. We realize this might not be the perfect tool for everyone but we encourage you to give it a try and I look forward to sharing some of the successes in a future column. Have a thought or a question about tourism in Seaside, or maybe an idea for a future column? Drop me an email at jrahl@cityofseaside.us. Jon Rahl is the director of tourism for the Seaside Visitors Bureau and assistant general manager of the Seaside Civic & Convention Center.­­­

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