The Destination Management and Marketing Model part 6: Storytellers

William Bakker

18 December 2014

Tourists taking a selfie in London

Tourists documenting their London story

On the internet, anyone can be a publisher. And in social media, everyone can publish their stories…and many of us do.

There are, of course, implications to this reality. A destination’s communication strategy now needs to shift from focusing on a few mass publishers, to focusing on many niche publishers. As a DMO, you need to find the right storytellers to reflect your destination. The right storytellers are the ones with the right skills, credibility, influence and creativity to turn your experiences into persuasive stories that reach your target audience and deliver a compelling message.

Not that long ago, the only two storytellers were the DMO and journalists. Now the bank of storytellers include your residents, visitors, industry partners, staff, journalists, influencers, third parties, niche communities and many others. These groups are often seen as being more credible, more persuasive, more creative and can have an even larger reach than you can buy through advertising.

Destination Marketing ModelIt’s an incredible shift to consider. It turns a DMO’s entire traditional marketing approach on its head. In this new paradigm, a brand cannot be built the way it used to be. It would be too expensive, too ineffective and too limiting. But by activating the right storytellers, you can reach more people, hit he right targets, and showcase more authentic stories. This is a DMO’s greatest opportunity now.

Thankfully, many DMOs are already embracing and adjusting to the shift. Destination British Columbia makes an extensive effort to get visitors sharing their stories, Antwerp created a campaign to get some of the biggest fashion bloggers talking, Tourism and Events Queensland organized the world’s largest Instameet and Florida has fishing boat captains call in the current conditions.

Now we’ve covered all but one major area of our model. The last piece of our model are the channels. These are the places the stories are told. And we’ll cover them next, followed by a deep dive into each of the sections.

Next post in this series: The Destination Management and Marketing Model part 7: Channels
Previous post in this series: The Destination Management and Marketing Model part 5: Target Audience

We have created an assessment for destinations based on our model that shows priority areas for your organization’s development. Click here for more information and to establish a benchmark for your own destination.


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