You might remember the advertising line, "The closer you get, the better we look."
America's Byways, the national byway organization operated through the Federal Highway Administration, has developed a campaign tagline with a similar message: "America's Byways: Come Closer."
Individual byways then are able to tailor the message to their own particular route. Examples might be, "Come Closer -- We Have Stories To Tell," "Come Closer -- We Have Mountains To Hike," "Come Closer -- We Have Vistas to View" or hundreds of other customized taglines for the many national scenic byways in the United States.
An important aspect of the "Come Closer" message is awareness building and promotion of America's byways. The media have been interested in byway stories for some time and regularly request story ideas, travel tips, photographs and other relevant information from the Federal Highway Administration. Through the "Come Closer" campaign, an editorial calendar has been established that features a variety of seasonal topics, as well as suggested family trips and winter drives.
This calendar was submitted to the media in the spring of 2003, resulting in byway articles in publications such as Self magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Endless Vacation.
While the Federal Highway Administration's campaign is focused on national scenic byways, the "Come Closer" message easily can be incorporated into state scenic byways' awareness building and marketing efforts, as well.
Locally, the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association is currently working on its interpretive plan, which will include marketing suggestions. The consulting firm of Linda Ulland and Associates, along with Rice Creek Resources and JM Plein Consulting, are developing the IP, with completion scheduled for this winter.
"National designation is something we have as a future goal for the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway so we try to stay in line with national byway marketing efforts as much as possible, while still focusing on the appeal of our rural lake country route and its ever increasing array of features, resources and stories," said Lynn Scharenbroich, Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association chairperson.
For more information on America's Byways, visit www.byways.org. For information on the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway, visit www.paulbunyanscenicbyway.org.
(Portions of this article are from Vistas, May/June 2003.)
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