Discover Long Island proved to be a strong advocate for the region’s tourism industry, notably amid the COVID pandemic. The US Travel Association took notice, recognizing Discover Long Island last week with a Destiny Award for Best Social Media Campaign at the annual ESTO conference in Los Angeles.
The travel association reserves the award for the member that demonstrated excellence and creative accomplishment in destination marketing and promotion.
“Discover Long Island is leading destination marketing organizations across the globe with its innovative marketing initiatives,” Bryan Deluca, the chairman of US Travel Association, said in a statement about the award. “It’s no surprise the organization took home the win for its specialized utilization of social channels in promoting our world class destination.”
The pandemic has hit industries especially hard, including those that are part of the tourism sector.
“The Discover Long Island team has worked tirelessly throughout the crisis of the pandemic and has utilized social media channels to reinvent our organization to assist our local businesses and communities,” Kristen Reynolds, president and CEO of Discover Long Island, said in a statement.
“Receiving the U.S. Travel Association’s Destiny Award for Best Social Media Campaign and being lauded as an industry leader for the innovative use of YouTube, TikTok, Podcast and other channels is an incredible honor and positions Discover Long Island amongst the best DMOs [destination marketing organizations]in the nation,” she added.
Amid COVID, Discover Long Island developed a new social media content strategy that aimed to connect with local, national, and global audiences via platforms where content is being consumed in record numbers. In less than a year, Discover Long Island launched a new YouTube video series “Long Island TV”, a weekly Podcast “Long Island Tea” and two new TikTok channels “Discover Long Island” and “Long Island, NY” where the team generates original “edutainment,” that is, content that is both educational and entertaining.
All of this was in addition to Discover Long Island’s existing Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest content.
Discover Long Island “demonstrated a keen understanding of cutting-edge social media, and a willingness to focus on channels other DMOs won’t yet,” the ESTO Destiny Award judges said in a statement. “Oftentimes, when DMOs adopt new social media strategies, they are performative at best. They may get industry press, but they don’t move the needle in tangible ways. Discover Long Island’s social media campaign is an excellent case study for the opposite—a strategic, meaningful, and innovative approach to helping the local tourism and hospitality industry recover from the pandemic’s impact.”
Local leaders praised the efforts of Discover Long Island.
“Discover Long Island has been the pioneer of destination marketing organizations during one of the most tumultuous years for tourism on a local and global level,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement. “
The organization took to storytelling through social media content, in a fresh new lens, utilizing things like TikTok, podcasts, and YouTube,” he added. “With world-class destinations, we are proud to have them as our leading marketing organization for Suffolk County’s tourism industry.”
This helped raise awareness of Long Island’s local and small businesses with video and audio content, and provided partnering businesses the ability to reach mass audiences at no additional cost. The DiscoverLongIslandNY YouTube channel featuring Long Island TV has scored more than 800,000 views and the two new TikTok channels have more than 80,000 followers with more than 800,000 likes and thousands of comments and shares. T
The Long Island Tea podcast, which is sponsored by Long Island Wine Country and features local wines each episode, has been downloaded more than 5,000 times and has a global audience of listeners from more than six countries.
“Tourism is an important component of our local economy and is crucial to our pandemic recovery as we continue to build a county that is a fantastic place to live, work and of course, play,” Laura Curran, the Nassau County executive, said in a statement.
The agency’s efforts, she said, are “showcasing all our region has to offer.”
Originally Appeared On: https://libn.com/2021/08/31/discover-long-island-scores-national-award/