Identify and Frame Our Assets:
It should not be hard to sell Ocean Springs. We have a lot to offer. However, in order to know how to market our town and maximize our appeal to potential visitors, we must first identify and categorize our assets. For example, if we were going to build a rubric of Ocean Springs attractions, one might begin with something like this:
Each square of the rubric represents the primary category for a town attraction. For Ocean Springs, a list would likely include the following (this is not an exhaustive list):
1. History - Fort Maurepas Park, Walter Anderson Museum, The William M. Colmer Visitor Center at the Gulf Islands National Seashore etc.
2. Culture: Walter Anderson Museum, the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center, Shearwater Pottery, and each of the Local Venues that host live music and local shops that sell local art.
3. Nature: Gulf Islands National Seashore, Front Beach, East Beach, the Ocean Springs/Biloxi Bridge, the Harbor, Little Children's Park, Marshall Park, Fort Maurepas Park w/ splash pad, Marshall Park, the Bike Paths, and The Inner Harbor Park, amongst others.
4. Market: This section would include all of the restaurants and shops in town.
By identifying and framing the various attractions in town, we create a baseline strategy for selling Ocean Springs to out-of-towners, whether they are people who may visit our town as tourists or chose to move to Ocean Springs.
And, of course, we can further categorize and frame our town's attractions for further cross promotion. The rubric clearly shows that Ocean Springs has a thorough and expansive list of assets that will appeal to a broad range of people. More plainly put, there is something for everyone.
We should further sub-categorize our attractions/businesses to identify connections between attractions/businesses and to, in essence, set out several different "Ocean Springs" days for visitors. Other categories would include things like live music, kid friendly activities, local art stores, clothing stores, oddities, water activities, sight seeing, architecture, quick bites, seafood, etc.
By identifying and framing our attractions, we strive to identify connections or appeal for our attractions that may not seem obvious at first. For example, one may not initially think of Phonecia as a kid-friendly restaurant, but, if if a family was planning a trip to Ocean Springs, they may want to start the morning with a fun breakfast, well, Phonecia serves a whole varied list of crazy pancakes that appeal to kids.
The purpose, of course, is to identify as many different ways to market our attractions as possible.