In early August, Destination Gippsland via Brand Meets Blog sent mummy bloggers, Megan Blandford, Claire Hewitt and Toushka Lee as well as Louisa herself, to the gorgeous town of Wahalla in West Gippsland in Victoria. They spent the weekend enjoying the hospitality, scenery, history and the very first Wahalla Vinter Ljusfest, set to become an annual August event. Michael Leany, owner of the Star Hotel and Wahalla’s longest serving resident, was their host and his knowledge and passion for the town was as infectious as it was delightful.
Destination Gippsland, which has always liked to use a mix of traditional and new media, wanted to work with mummy bloggers on this occasion because of the integrity they had to offer regional tourism. James Archibald, who is the marketing and project manager for Destination Gippsland, kindly told us that “with Louisa the integrity is sound and we’re looking for bloggers to send an authentic message to consumers”.
From my perspective, engaging established bloggers for tourism campaigns is a very effective part of any new media strategy. After all, a blogger’s reputation and reach means they capture their audience in a more personal way than is often achieved through traditional media. So, bringing together traditional and new media is an effective way for a tourism body or business to gain extended exposure.
What did the Mummy Bloggers themselves think about it?
Claire Hewitt from Clairey Hewitt said using targeted bloggers allowed a region to handpick the exact target market they wanted to attract. “If they are after Gen Y, families or retirees they can align their market with that direct audience by using bloggers of influence within that target market.”
Keen traveller and mummy blogger Megan Blandford from Writing Out Loud said she was interested in how social media was being used to share everything from products and brands to services and destinations. “I think by adding this to my blog, I’m giving my readers not only information about a spot they might not have thought of visiting, but fun stories they’ll enjoy and photographs to inspire them.”
Mummy blogger Toushka Lee was most amused when the party of four were constantly referred to as journalists. “It reminded me just how new all this ‘new media’ really is.”
Have you participated in a travel famil, would you like to? What do you think makes using bloggers so effective for something like this?