A 645,000 circulation statewide magazine will offer readers ideas on the top spots for a day trip to Richmond County in its March issue.
Carolina Country will feature Hamlet, Ellerbe and Rockingham in its “Carolina Country Adventures” section next month, suggesting the Sandhills Game Land, Rankin Museum and the speedway and dragway as can’t miss destinations for Tar Heel vacationers.
The spot in next month’s issue is the result of an advertising campaign county tourism officials began last summer, and has also landed a pair of features on the railroad heritage of Hamlet, “The Little Town That Could,” in upcoming train-lover publications.
The page delves into the railroad heritage in Hamlet, directing potential visitors to The Depot Museum and the Tornado Building, as well as the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame.
It also highlights the sporting and recreational activities outlined on the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority new Web site, richmondcountyoutdoors.com.
“The Richmond County Tourism board with the help of Walker Marketing is getting the jump on Spring,” Board Member Emily Tucker explained. “We are launching some fresh advertising campaigns that we hope will catch the eye of the hunters and fishermen that may be looking to spend some time outdoors. We hope that with this recent warm weather will attract many outdoorsmen to spend their time with us here in Richmond County.”
Walker Marketing Account Manager Jeff Cheatham outlined efforts to gain press for the county, including a pair of pieces in railroad publications and the page in March’s Carolina Country. He also explained the system the firm is using to lure tourists.
“What we did was come up with these quarterly marketing plans, in which we pick out six to eight topics we can really push to promote tourism opportunities in Richmond County,” Cheatham said Thursday. “Much of it has a seasonal relevance, as we try to outline the types of things that are going on at the time the reader learns about them.”
Hamlet’s rich railroad heritage will also be featured in two magazines targeted for train and rail enthusiasts around the world.
The Bulletin, the National Railway Historical Society’s quarterly publication for NRHS Chapters nationwide will feature Hamlet in an upcoming issue in its “History Notes” section, promoting the Tornado Locomotive exhibit.
Meanwhile, monthly TRAINS magazine, feature Hamlet and its railway history in their “Fantrip,” or “Trackside,” column in an upcoming issue. Highlights include the Hamlet Passenger Depot, the Tornado Locomotive exhibit and the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame.
Upcoming marketing efforts will focus on drawing outdoorsmen and recreation seekers, Cheatham said Thursday morning.
“Currently, I’m really trying to pitch Rockingham’s Hitchcock Creek Greenway Project,” he said. “I think that’s an amazing story, and could really serve as a model for the way other under-utilized creeks and waterways throughout the state could be used to create eco-tourism. I know it’s kind of in the middle of the project and I’m not saying it’s stalled out or anything, but I feel like drawing attention to what a great idea that is might help to make it become a reality faster.”
Cheatham said outdoors activities will also figure heavily into the campaign.
“We are also placing advertisements in two magazines, North Carolina Sportsman magazine and North Carolina Game & Fish Magazine, to highlight hunting and fishing options within Richmond County,” Cheatham explained. “We are also producing two billboards in support of the tourism website we created that will go up on both sides of Highway 74 from both the eastern and western edges of Richmond County.”
“Richmond County is rich in natural resources,” Tucker commented on the campaign.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 15, or by e-mail at email@example.com.