Beth Monroe, Director of Public Relations & Marketing, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.
Sana Keller, Virginia Tourism Corporation.
How does a public garden with a small public relations and marketing staff maximize efforts to reach larger audiences? By working with smart tourism partners and taking advantage of resources already in place. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va., enjoys a close relationship with the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the state entity responsible for marketing Virginia tourism to the world. Since both organizations have limited resources, they work hard to leverage existing programs and attract more than a third of a million visitors to the Garden annually.
Virginia Tourism is recognized for its internationally known ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ slogan. A display at the Garden of seven-foot-tall letters spelling “L-O-V-E” was a recent highlight of collaborative efforts between the two entities, resulting in increased visibility and sharing on social media using #LOVEVA. The Virginia Tourism Corporation’s award-winning website, recognition of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden as one of the top five museums in the U.S., strong social media strategies and signature events such as Historic Garden Week in Virginia add to the strength of this love affair between public gardens and tourism.
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