This morning, Thursday, the Tourism Department’s list of news releases works.
It’s really odd, tho … instead of clicking links to see the story, you have to click either the "Word" or the "PDF" button to get the text in those formats. No other web site I’ve seen does this.
Wonder what the Department doesn’t like about Web pages. Could it be that this way, converting it to two formats, takes more time and makes more work?
The government could do better promoting tourism in the Virgin Islands. Perhaps that’s the reason the Commissioner of Tourism, Beverley Nicholson-Doty will make an appearance at a lunch meeting of the Territory’s top advertising people.
An e-mail from the American Advertising Federation of the U.S. Virgin Islands (formerly known more simply as the ‘Ad Club’) says Doty will offer a look behind-the-scenes at the work she and JWT, the island’s advertising agency, are doing.
"It seems the stateside image of the U.S. Virgin Islands needs to be changed," the advertising group said. "Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty of the Department of Tourism will show us what people’s perceptions really are and how our advertising needs to be repositioned."
From my surfing on the Web, it appears JWT is a new player this year. The Tourism Dept.’s Web site says M. Booth and Asssociates of New York are the PR contacts for the Territory. In the past, however, JWT has worked for the Tourism Department, as long ago as 2001. There was a change for 2008 and JWT is back, and now has some research and opinion polling which will help inform its promotional efforts for what appears to be a new campaign for the islands.
Lord knows, efforts have been pretty minimal recently – despite declining tourism and cutbacks in airline service. The "official" tourism Web site still sucks: no fresh content, nothing posted daily to keep people interested in what’s happening on the islands, God-awful slow to load pages and the Department’s "Press Room" hasn’t had a new release in months, offering media nothing new to write. Even the Events Calendar is blank! ("Nothing to see there folks, move along.")
But, the #3 press release on the page touts an award to Commissioner Nicholson-Doty, in June, naming her an "Outstanding Woman in Travel." Here’s a link to that story: http://www.onepaper.com/stcroixvi/?v=d&i=&s=Business:St.+Croix&p=1212899165. Ironically, you can’t read the Department’s own release about that honor – because none of the links on the Press Room page work, at least on my Mac and its two browser.
Don’t get me wrong. I want the Commissioner and JWT to do well at the lunch. And I want them to do well in promoting the islands over the next year. And I REALLY want them to do much better than they have.