City marketing panel discusses strategies

By TAYLOR

MURCHISON-

GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Bristol Development Authority marketing committee met on Friday, June 1, to discuss their strategies for the 2018-2019 year.

BDA marketing and public relations specialist, Mark Thomas, revealed that as of May 2018, the Bristol All Heart website, www.bristolallheart.com, has seen triple digit growth in visitors. The events page has brought in a majority of these numbers, and many of the sites visitors are due to the email notifications.

“Numbers continue to drastically outpace last year, that’s always a good thing, and continued steady growth for social media,” said Thomas.

Bristol All Heart can be found on various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Vimeo, and Google+.

Thomas stressed that this year’s marketing plan is different from last years because many of those items have been accomplished. This year’s plan will continue to focus on the audience, but the audience will shift slightly.

“The main change is the audience priority,” said Thomas.

Where last year’s plan was heavily centered around bringing new families, individuals, and businesses into Bristol, this year’s plan will “even out” and put more of a focus on the current residents and business owners, while still promoting what Bristol has to offer to new businesses and people.

The plan draft said “Bristol is truly the “ALL HEART” City. One of the major components of the Bristol Development Authority mission is to reaffirm and add to the positive environment for residents and businesses in the City.”

The main goals of the plan are, to “aggressively market and position all positive aspects of the City of Bristol”, work “to improve the physical, economic, and social environment” “by serving as the primary governmental organization dedicated to promoting commercial development, preserving and improving the City’s housing stock, and securing and administering the resources required” to do so, “efficient management of a number of economic development incentive programs to encourage the retention, expansion, relocation, or creation of new businesses”, and “actively serving as the lead municipal agency for retail, industrial/distribution, and downtown development.”

To do so, Thomas and the BDA plans to “implement traditional and non-traditional marketing tools, promote all aspects of life in Bristol,” “establish and enhance relationships with Bristol leaders and volunteer organizations to rely on the BDA as a source of support, inspiration, and resources for their endeavors,” “develop effective and useful programs” that will “actively engage business owners, tourist attractions, and treasured public organizations,” and to “thoroughly and consistently communicate key messages to current residents and business owners about opportunities through multiple communication avenues.”

Thomas also said that this year, an in-house-created City of Bristol brochure will be included with your tax bill. In the brochure, you will find a message from Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, information on how to contact your district representative on the City Council, the 2018 Summer Concert Series schedule, information on the Farmers Market which will open on Saturday, June 23, and details about other Bristol attractions.

Marketing committee member, Mickey Goldwasser, said the Exchange Club is seeking nominees for its “Proudly We Hail” award, which is given out each year on Flag Day. This year, it will be awarded on Thursday, June 14, to the individual or business that respectfully and creatively displays the U.S. flag. For more information, or for a nomination form, you can reach the Exchange Club via email at, bristolexchangeclub@hotmail.com.