Midcoast council marketing efforts pay off

Posted Oct. 18, 2010, at 6:06 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 10, 2010, at 6:06 p.m.

The MidCoast Chamber Council is a regional alliance of seven Chambers of Commerce of the midcoast region of Maine from Bath-Brunswick to Searsport. Directors of the individual Chambers of Commerce (including myself) cooperate to market the midcoast as a region, lending power and breadth to our individual efforts. The council produces materials for tourism kiosks, does online and print advertising, produces the Maine’s Midcoast See Life! Brochure, educates the Maine Office of Tourism and Office of the Governor on major goings-on in the region, oversees an informational phone line for the region, administers the midcoast’s website, www.mainesmidcoast.com, and attends trade shows on behalf of members of each of our seven member Chambers of Commerce.

This past month, the MidCoast Chamber Council publicized the Maine Wine Trail, a cooperative effort by wineries from Wiscasset to Unity to announce the recently formed Maine Winery Guild and to highlight the first-of-its-kind Maine Wine Pavilion at the Union fairgrounds during fair week. The story was featured in the mainesmidcoast.com blog, Facebook and Twitter, and was picked up by Village Soup and the Bangor Daily News. Both publications have an online presence that reaches those who enjoy Maine regardless of their personal geographic location.

Currently in the works is MC3’s ad for the 2011 travel season, which will appear in both the print and online versions of the Maine Office of Tourism’s travel planner, Maine Invites You. The online planner at VisitMaine.com also features our own SeeLife! vacation planner brochure and refers visitors to our website as well to the midcoast region’s individual Chambers of Commerce.

Almost completed is a new graphic for our Kittery Visitors Center kiosk. The new graphic features vibrant midcoast scenes against our own www.mainesmidcoast.com background. Kittery is just one of many distribution points for our SeeLife! travel planner brochure, which lists regional attractions and festivals. SeeLife! and our website bring visitors to each of our seven Chambers of Commerce, and therefore to you, our Chamber members. We have already distributed more the 23,000 SeeLife! brochures this year.

In August, our website was visited by people from 59 countries and all 50 states and territories, with Web traffic increasing significantly from the previous year. In addition, the number of repeat visitors continues to grow, based on the percentage of new website visitors. This suggests that the MidCoast Maine website may be developing a following, leading to an increase in repeat visitors to the site.

To view the MidCoast Chamber Council’s travel planner, blog or video, or to request our quarterly newsletter, visit www.mainesmidcoast.com.

Shari Closter is the interim executive director of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 596-0376, e-mail shari@therealmaine.com or visit www.TheRealMaine.com.

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