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Helping businesses overcome winter ‘blahs’

Friday, January 4th, 2013 | Posted by

Kayaking Austin Creek

New eateries are opening, established ones are  improving, “no vacancy” signs are popping up at lodgings, people are smiling and the cheer and good will are abundant and contagious – even though it’s January and traditionally a “slow” time of year for those involved in tourism-related businesses.
And as if that isn’t enough to paint a happy face on the local citizenry, an offer is in the wind which should make those smiles even broader. Sonoma County

Egret Russian River

Tourism plans on putting additional effort into promoting Sonoma County as an overnight destination from late January to early May and they’re employing a “Sonoma Sneakaway” program to do so. The program is available, free of charge, to all tourism-related businesses within Sonoma County.
It’s referred to as  “an integrated, multi-channel marketing campaign that targets potential overnight travelers in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento area, as well as West Coast cities served by Direct Service to Sonoma County on

Duncans Landing

Alaska Airlines.”
The campaign will employ “paid advertising on radio, online banner and video ads, and out-of-home advertising (signs and video) as well as public relations and social media pushes from SCT,” and will be will be hosted on www.sonomasneakaway.com which SCT calls a “special micro-site.”
Among those invited to participate in this potentially valuable freebie are wineries and tasting rooms, lodgings, restaurants, artists and galleries, tour companies, spas, farmers and activities providers such as fishing and whale watching boats people and others.
An excellent way to attract off-season visitors, SCT suggests, is to put a special deal of your together. Visitors love all-inclusive package deals and working with other businesses to provide such deals could be mutually beneficial.
Business folk are considered SCT “partners” and as such, the Sneakaway

promotion won’t cost participants a dime.
SCT suggests coming up with a special offer (or using an existing one), getting a few good photos together along with a logo and copy that will grab attention, and the going to “Sonoma Sneakaway” on the partners section of their website

You design your special to run as long as you like, black out dates which you prefer not to include, provide a clear description and make booking simple.
Headlines and titles that grab attention are important and you might consider ad

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

campaigns that have arrested your attention and gotten you motivated. If you know someone whose expertise lies in this area you might tap that someone for a few ideas.
To submit your “special deal” go to http://www.sonomacounty.com/partners/sonomasneakaway.

Contact: Tim Zahner
Director Marketing and P.R.  
Sonoma County Tourism

phone: 522-5800
for additional information.

photos: Stephen D. Gross

  • Lenard Swarthout

    Our company has had some interest in these types of promotional items and had some graphics prepared by another vendor. Is it possible to use the same graphics? The company was Concord Signs & Banners 3568 Kimball Way Concord, CA 94518 – 925-808-3817. I am not positive if the files will be compatible.

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