Visit Pensacola’s Social Media Efforts Receive Distinction from Travel + Leisure® at the Inaugural Social Media in Travel + Tourism Awards (SMITTYS)
Pensacola, Fla. – June 7, 2012 – Social media tourism marketing efforts conducted by Visit Pensacola were recognized as a runner-up in Travel + Leisure® magazine's first-ever Social Media in Travel + Tourism Awards (SMITTYS), which were announced yesterday and will be celebrated in New York this evening.
Visit Pensacola was recognized as the sole runner-up among U.S.-based Convention and Visitors Bureaus and Tourism Boards for "Best Single Social Media Promotion" for its original 3-Minute Adventures series, which showcases authentic views of the Pensacola Bay Area by utilizing first-person point-of-view videos aimed at boosting tourism. Visit Bucks County (Pennsylvania) was the winner in this category.
"Pinterest, Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook, Instagram and a myriad of other social media sites have become powerful tools for sharing and recording our travels," said Nancy Novogrod, editor-in-chief of Travel + Leisure®. "The winners of the first-ever SMITTYS are companies that are using social media creatively to enhance the travel experience for their customers and clients."
Visit Pensacola's 3-Minute Adventures series premiered in November 2011with the goal of informing visitors about the Pensacola Bay Area’s diverse attractions through videos filmed with a helmet camera and not only uploaded to YouTube but also promoted through Visit Pensacola’s strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Blogspot. The strategy, implemented by Visit Pensacola's communications team and E.W. Bullock & Associates, was also recognized by the American Advertising Federation this year as a recipient of a 2011 ADDY Gold Award. The episodes can be viewed at www.youtube.com/visitpensacola or http://www.visitpensacola.com/landing/3-minute-adventures.
Travel + Leisure's SMITTYS highlight organizations in the travel and tourism industry that are utilizing social media in innovative ways. The panel of judges for the 2012 SMITTYS included Jonathan Crowley, director of business development for Foursquare; Porter Gale, public speaker and blogger; Peter Shankman, consultant, blogger and founder of Help a Reporter Out (HARO); Clara Shih, CEO of Hearsay Social and author of The Facebook Era; Sree Sreenivasan, professor and dean of students at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; and Andrew Zimmern, creator and host of "Bizarre Foods" on the Travel Channel and "Appetite for Life" on MSN.
The winners, runner-ups and the respective campaigns can be seen on www.travelandleisure.com/smittys. They will also be featured in an article on "How Social Media Will Change the Way You Travel," to be published the magazine's July 2012 issue, which will be available on newsstands on June 22.