Tourism Campaign Wins 2014 RH Dougherty Award

Kempsey Shire Council’s recent efforts to strengthen the local tourism sector were recognised with a win at the prestigious RH Dougherty Local Government Awards at Parliament House last Thursday night.

The awards are managed by Local Government NSW and recognise greater understanding and communication by councils to their local communities.

The Macleay Valley Coast ‘Discover Something New’ Destination Marketing Campaign was announced the winner of the Excellence in Communication Award (Division A: less than 30,000), with the judging panel describing the campaign as “outstanding”.

The campaign was designed and developed by Council’s Economic Sustainability team in collaboration with Macleay Valley Coast tourism, input from local industry leaders and the financial support of 170 local tourism businesses and Destination NSW.

“The judges thought this was an outstanding, visionary, well-structured piece of communication. It was inclusive, with both measureable and positive outcomes. Kempsey’s use of the ‘Local Legend’ concept brought out personalities within the campaign; it strongly identified the target markets which backed this up with a strong media campaign.”

Fifty-four council communication initiatives were nominated across two communication and reporting categories.

President of Local Government NSW, Cr Keith Rhoades AFSM, said that the standard of entries was exceptional and that the judges had difficulty in picking winners.

“The art of communication and engagement within Local Government has gone from strength to strength.

“The winners tonight have proved that they are experts in the field of communications and reporting to their community in creative and innovative ways. They are also not afraid to use technology and work outside the realms of their legislative boundaries to improve engagement and services to their communities,” said Cr Rhoades.

Kempsey Shire Council General Manager David Rawlings described the campaign as instrumental in developing a destination brand and identity for the Macleay Valley during the crucial post-bypass era, and for generating tangible growth in the tourism sector.

“This campaign was a crucial part of Council’s post-bypass economic strategy to boost the Macleay’s profile and destination appeal,” Mr Rawlings said.

“With an annual turnover of $189M and 554,000 visitors each year, the Visitor Economy is the Macleay Valley Coast’s fourth largest industry sector and it is a win for our community that this sector has now grown 10 per cent during the 12 months to March 2014.

“The objectives of the campaign signify Council’s determined efforts to ensure the bypass is embraced as an opportunity to reinvigorate our Shire’s character and reputation.”

The Dougherty Awards were established in 1981 and are judged by leading experts in the communications field. They are named after former Local Government Association President, Robert Henry (Bob) Dougherty.

Posted by Macleay Valley Coast Tourism: August 14, 2014