It all started with a small realization and a huge desire to change a perception. We wanted to show people how beautiful of a state West Virginia is, and why it deserves the right kind of attention. Both Emily and I have lived our entire lives in the great Mountain State, allowing nature to bond relationships with our friends and family. We wanted to share that, so we decided to make a campaign highlighting West Virginia State Parks to promote tourism.
Our biggest goal before and after this campaign was to communicate our passion for the state in such a way people would want to come visit! We felt that we achieved this goal, truly. Traveling around the state and filming gave us more pride for the place we came from, as well a desire to instill this pride in others. When you care about where you live or where you’re from, you are keeping culture alive. When you have pride for your home or community, you are inviting others to share their home and community alike!
As we began crafting our idea, we definitely set the bar high. While receiving suggestions to remain more concise, the idea of completing more than 2 or 3 State Parks became daunting and difficult. However, we knew that we had something to prove. We knew we had to do something West Virginia State Parks has not done – a narrative, personal adventure story. We managed to visit and capture a total of 5 parks. Along the way, we kept true to ourselves and our state – bringing along culture, history and engagement.
We decided teaming up our talents of Digital Film and Strategic Communication to design a campaign targeting State Tourism. This turned out to be great because it pushed both of us to learn one another’s skills. I developed an eye for photography and the process of capturing an image from the camera through the editing process. Emily developed the ability to make clear judgments on how to market her imagery and integrate factors that will spread likability and reach.
Our Capstone presentation was astounding, attracting interest from students, friends and teachers from all backgrounds! We saw people taking an interest in what there is to see in this state, and asking questions about each park. Others saw the passion and pride we had for our state! We definitely had our fair share of mistakes and moments we wished for a do-over, but we always tried to make the best of our situation. We made note of these circumstances, in order to only improve how we communicated what we were seeing and experiencing.
We were able to create a 6 week campaign, including a total of 1 blog, 5 weekly videos and and approximately 30 social media posts all containing self-created content. We were also able to integrate mobile application technology into our strategies and tactics, working to our goal while keeping people engaged!
Both of us received helpful criticism, giving us additional insight into our Capstone. However, we aren’t quite finished yet. We plan on taking this to the next level, which is directly to West Virginia State Parks. We are serious about targeting State Tourism, and would love to reach as many audiences who could have an enjoyable time here. That is why we have reached out to their organization, in hopes of their help us to make that goal a reality.
We would love to continue telling the Wild & Wonderful story that to us, is one of the best in the country. The next goal is to implement this campaign: Wild and Wonderful State Parks in hopes that by January – February 2017, winter hikers will be setting their bearings straight for West, by God, Virginia!