The Mountain Lakes Regional Committee of the SC National Heritage Corridor hosted nine travel writers from GA, FL, NC and SC in April. For four days the writers experienced the cultural, historic and natural wonders of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties in South Carolina. The writers cruised Lake Hartwell, played with the kids of Split Creek Goat Dairy, learned to "play the washboard" at Hagood Mill, touched The Rock at Clemson University and zip lined in Oconee County.
Paraphrased from the website:
The South Carolina National Heritage Corridor extends 240 miles across South Carolina, stretching from the mountains of Oconee County, along the Savannah River, to the port city of Charleston. It is divided into four regions. The 17 counties offer a cross-section of the state's historical, cultural, and natural resources that tell the vibrant story of South Carolina's centuries-long evolution and culture. The area describes the progression of upcountry and lowcountry life, from grand plantations and simple farms to mill villages and urban centers, and how their history affected South Carolina as a state and America as a nation.
This was a cool endeavor where partners came together to court travel writers. By wining, dining and showcasing, these partners coaxed writers to go home and pitch stories to magazines, blogs and newspapers, possibly books. What a smart way to attract tourism! Relying upon others and their followings, the region served to spread the word in a very inexpensive manner. After a meal in one town, sports in another, agriculture elsewhere and history all around, these writers have more fodder for stories than they could ever build at home online.
Wouldn't it be great if museums, libraries, schools, businesses, regions, Chambers of Commerce and parks did this more? By enticing writers, they enhance coverage of their accomplishments. So smart.
==What if the police department had a day of mystery and suspense writers booksigning at their headquarters?
==What if schools held an author day?
==What if restaurants held food writers events?
==What if museums held history writer day, or a Martin Luther King, Jr. theme, or president's day featuring writers in those themes?
==What is the animal shelter held an animal writer day? Imagine how many animals they'd give away for adoption?
It might be a dream, but combining the needs of organizations and businesses with writers' desire to write can be a serious win-win. Words are powerful and carry a message far better than a standard press release.