OBJECTIVES OF PROGRAM/PROJECT The program provides an overview of the steps Extension used to secure byway expansion stakeholders and partners as well as to develop the corridor management plan and professional traditional and digital marketing and promotion tools and tactics for an award-winning byway. EXTENSION/RESEARCH METHODS USED The Extension educator utilized a review of Ohio and national tourism materials and byway resource and marketing tools. RESULTS OF THE PROGRAM/PROJECT The proposed expanded multi-county byway was designated by the state department of transportation as an official scenic byway. Professional marketing materials were developed and deployed. The byway has received multiple state, regional and national awards. The byway provides the counties and the region with an additional tourism asset to attract guests and encourage residents to travel. STRATEGIES USED TO EVALUATE THE PROGRAM/PROJECT Evaluation of the Extension effort included approval of the corridor management plan by the state department of transportation as an official scenic byway. In addition, being selected by the department of transportation to coordinate an application for national byway designation was an honor. Promotion evaluation included the planned development of a variety of marketing tools and tactics and partners (utilizing social media, web-based, print, advertising, and award nomination tactics). CONCLUSIONS/LESSONS LEARNED The byway project is a public-private partnership with the goal to expand the byway from a one-county byway to a multi-county byway through collaboration. The expansion effort was coordinated by Ohio State University Extension in cooperation with county CVBs, a Parks District and retired Extension volunteers. The leaders saw the value in collaboration and in a regionalized byway in partnership with counties that have some of the state’s smallest populations, yet some of its great beauty, rich history, and cultural assets. One lesson we learned through the application for national byway designation was that we needed to better define our byway story. The marketing tools and tactics are also transferrable to similar byways in the state and nation.
2021 NET Conference Proceedings
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