Manitowish Waters Visitor Guide
The annual Chamber of Commerce Visitor Guide is the cornerstone of a small tourist town’s marketing outreach. While an online version exists, the Chamber’s bread-and-butter outreach is primarily done the old-fashioned way — more than 20,000 paper copies are distributed in person and through the mail. It’s the most expensive single project the Chamber of Commerce does each year, so it has to be done well.
Because it is such an enormous undertaking for a tiny staff of 2, content in previous years’ guides was essentially copied and pasted from previous guides, with a few details updated for the new year. This annual “update” left the magazine feeling, well, copied and pasted from years prior. Not this year!
Starting fresh, the guide needed to do two things:
- Highlight Chamber businesses and organizations, which was accomplished through the business directory.
- Inspire travel to the area with fun-to-read articles, a clean design, and beautiful photos.
We went to work on the articles first, writing all new copy for the guide. Additionally, professional photographers submitted breathtaking photos of the area and events, while crowd-sourced photos gathered through social media captured some wonderful candid moments.
The Member Directory was also an undertaking because only a handful of members had revised their listing from the previous guide. So, we edited or rewrote nearly every listing to capture the essence of the organization in 250 characters or less. New, stricter character limits made the directory listings uniform in length, which freed up space for more content and photos. The results were beautiful.
Working closely with a designer, we completely changed the layout to have a more updated look, with clean lines, ample white space, large photo spreads, and easy-to-read text.