RYAN FLYNN — General Assignment Reporter
The Connecticut Office of Tourism has begun a new marketing campaign with the idea in mind to create a new brand identity for the state over the next two years. They will begin this campaign with a promotion called What’s Your Connecticut Story? where both students and residents are encouraged to share what they love most about this state.
“In creating this campaign, our aim is to ignite pride and inspire enthusiasm about living and travelling here,” said Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism.
Starting on March 27, submissions can be entered at MyCTStory.com. The author of the best story submitted to the contest will be rewarded with a $1000 Connecticut shopping spree. This is not to any particular stores but rather offered in the form of a $1000 American Express gift card to be used at Connecticut retailers.
The contest, according to Fiveash, asks Connecticut residents, visitors and college students alike for a story about what they love most about Connecticut, along with a photo and/or video,that paints a picture of the best of the state.
“We want CT residents and visitors to feel like they have a stake in what the brand campaign will become,” Fiveash said. “By collecting stories from across the state, all participants will help contribute to the new Connecticut brand. We knew asking residents and visitors what they love most about Connecticut—in the form of personal stories—would help us shape the state’s identity into something that would really resonate with people.”
Entries will be received until May 18, 2012 and the grand prize winner will be announced on June 1, 2012. There is no limit to how many stories may be entered, and entrants can also vote on their favorite stories once daily via the MyCTStory.com website. Three additional winners, called “CT Picks” will be announced on an ongoing basis throughout the length of the promotion, according to Fiveash.
In addition to this, there will be a Facebook sweepstakes available on the CT Visit Facebook page. Connecticut residents can enter here for a chance to win a two-night trip to Mohegan Sun with three of their friends.
This 33 million dollar marketing effort and branding initiative is being run by Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development. The marketing team was selected by the state with a goal in mind to “provide tourism and economic development services for the next two years.” What’s Your Connecticut Story? is likely the first of what will be many such promotions.
The marketing team will work with state and industry partners to create a compelling brand identity; serve as the state’s branding, marketing, advertising and online marketing agencies; and provide marketing services to promote tourism, business development and talent recruitment in coordination with Connecticut’s existing economic development efforts, according to Fiveash.
“We’re very excited especially to receive stories from Southern Connecticut State University students,” Fiveash said. He encouraged students to enter the What’s Your Connecticut Story? contest by logging on to MyConnecticutStory.com.