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Destination unknown, Part II
It is essential to find a unique selling point to market a destination, Ken Kelling, communications director for Visit London, tells Communicate magazine, Part II.
January 7, 2010 8:44 by Sam Potter
Click here to read Part I.
So is the main issue for marketing destinations nowadays safety?
Yes. We’ve done research on this, and you tend to find people have very different mindsets, ranging from someone who says it “absolutely does not make a blind bit of difference to the way that I approach life. Life is a risk and the whole world is a risk and I’m going to carry on doing what I do,” right through to another set of people at the other end who may well be put off by going to a specific place because of something that has happened there. So you have to deal with different mindsets all the time.
For me the solution is about projecting confidence. In London’s case the idea of life continuing as normal, business as usual. You have to have very confident messages and I think a lot of confident messages come from events, seeing crowds of people going about life as normal. After the bombings in July 2005, for example, there was a very specific program to, in September of that year, put a large number of events together where a large volume of people were going to be seen in central London. And once you’ve got that up and running, you’ve got something that’s a counter projection to what those earlier images were. It’s about life going on as normal. And I think you also have to lose a bit of the corporate-ness, you have to talk in very human terms. So when we’re doing interviews around that particular subject I always talk very personally about what I’m doing, because when you’re at a distance from something like that, all you ever see is the media images. You don’t really hear about real life, you don’t hear about everyday life, and you don’t hear about thing’s continuing. Part of our job is to get that across.