Visit Ridgeland Awarded Advocacy Campaign of the Year

Presenting the award are Mississippi Development Authority Deputy Director, Laura Hipp and Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray. Also pictured are MTA President and President and CEO of Visit Ridgeland, Chris Chapman; Katie Coats and Karen Vance of Visit Ridgeland; and Kim Foster and Kayla Stefferud of Foster Relations.


Visit Ridgeland has won the Best Advocacy Campaign Award for its Industry Outreach campaign at this year’s Mississippi Tourism Association Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Tunica, Mississippi.


“It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to celebrate these talented members who work tirelessly for their communities and organizations. These awards are very competitive and that is a testament to the caliber of work being produced by our partners and the overall strength of Mississippi tourism. It is our honor to work together with these outstanding professionals to continue to grow and prosper our industry,” said MTA Executive Director, Danielle Morgan.


As the tourism industry began to rebuild and welcome guests back, this organization realized the importance of providing a destination that made guests feel safe, welcomed and informed. An effort like that could not be accomplished alone – it would take partnerships across the industry to achieve this goal. To start, they updated industry partner lists to receive monthly industry-specific information through an e-newsletter campaign, growing this engagement more than 112 percent.


Next, they enhanced their promotion program by reaching out to Ridgeland hotels, restaurants and attractions; creating a private Facebook group for these partners to share information; and enhancing their LinkedIn page. Efforts have begun to start a portal designed at no cost to partners to submit photos and videos to help Visit Ridgeland assist them in promotions.


The Visit Ridgeland TikTok channel was started to promote visitation and give partners another platform to promote themselves. Through all their social media efforts combined, Visit Ridgeland saw a 551 percent increase in impressions and a 1144 percent increase in engagements.


The Best Advocacy or Grassroots Campaign award recognizes Mississippi tourism organizations for demonstrating value to stakeholders and lawmakers through efforts such as presentations, advertisements, collateral, and video messaging. The award was chosen by a panel of out of state tourism industry peers.


“Visit Ridgeland sought to advocate the value and recognition of tourism to the local community and industry partners by showcasing involvement and capitalizing on residents support,” said Chris Chapman, President and CEO of Visit Ridgeland. “What our DMO and industry partners have achieved over the past year has helped Ridgeland continue to move forward in tourism development and an increased economy as sales have flourished. Since Covid we have brought guests in from around the nation and consistently hear how pleased and pleasantly surprised they are with Ridgeland’s hospitality, amenities, and facilities. We help our local businesses and partners, so they in turn know how to help our guests. Our guests help our city. Our city helps Mississippi.”


Visit Ridgeland staff were honored at the Awards Luncheon on Friday, October 21, 2022 for their Industry Outreach campaign. The campaign ran from June 2021 to May 2022 and included the creation of a Tourism Matters monthly industry newsletter, annual Destination Business Plan and partner meeting, Hospitality Industry Award, and more.