29 October 2013

On the human brochure

| johnboy
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We were not impressed by ACT Tourism’s great shout out to the vacuous which went by the name of the Human Brochure. (Although we will concede that identifying top social media influencers and sucking up to them is absolutely best practice and probably explains the influx of invites in my email at the moment).

The Canberra Times this morning is causing a stir and looking back in anger at the experience.

Basically letting the tourism industry put on a show gave at least those interviewed a mediocre experience:

”Would I go back to Canberra for a holiday, versus Melbourne or Sydney? No, not really,” Brisbane marketing company director Cameron Reilly said. ”It was lovely and it was nice, but there was nothing they showed me that made me want to do it again.”

Should this surprise us?

Not at all.

Almost all of the great things I love about Canberra have nothing to do with tourism professionals.

There’s not a single tourism dollar in taking dogs swimming at Uriarra Reserve.

I’ve never once said “forget the Burmese Curry, I’m going to a hotel for dinner”.

Maybe a tourism operator should offer night cycling around Lake Burley Griffin with a stop for beers at Regatta point.

But basically of all the amazing things I love about Canberra; none of them would be any fun at all in a group of 500.

So Human Brochure was an idea worth a try, with some flaws in hindsight.

But if we really want to get the serious influencers vibing on Canberra set them up for a ride with Rat Patrol ala Amanda Palmer and they’ll sort out the good time that no Government body can.

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On a day like today, Canberra sells itself.

I was on a plane from Melbourne last year with people who turned out to be part of the ‘human billboards’ and boy were they annoying. Chatting about themselves to each other (but ignoring each other) but nonetheless appearing socially awkward (and badly dressed) and taking photos of everything. I guess what you imagine bloggers to be…

so, really, Canberra should have been perfect for them.

thebrownstreak69 said :

…it’s the stuff hidden away that only the locals know about that make the place what it is.

Absolutely. Once I discovered CMC and CRDL and the Phoenix, I fell in love with Canberra. Part of the fun of this place is discovering it all on your own. If they want to boost tourism, make a Locals Network to show people the cool stuff, especially if you want to improve the reputation with the younger crowd.

thebrownstreak692:37 pm 29 Oct 13

Canberra has somegood tourist stuff (War Memorial, Questacon, National Museum, Portrait Gallery, etc), but it’s the stuff hidden away that only the locals know about that make the place what it is. I really like Canberra and the region, but it’s not what I’d call a tourist Mecca.

GardeningGirl2:15 pm 29 Oct 13

Two things.
It seemed like a VIP trip. Even some of the Humans complained that other Humans were bigger VIP’s than they were. I can’t find the posts right now but I remember some got a balloon ride and those that missed out said it was okay if there wasn’t room for everyone to get a go at everything but it was how the elite were snuck out for their special little bonus that didn’t look good. So for average Aussies thinking about where to go for hols I don’t see the VIP experience of a group of competition winners in a place that already has an ‘us and them’ reputation being relevant.
The other thing is I looked for the results of the campaign. There were a few blog posts with informative comments and good pictures. I remember one lady who had to leave early even made the effort to write a proper blog post about what she did have time for, and I really appreciated that. But despite my active searching most of it looked like tweets and instagrams. One liners about ‘how great was that, I shared canapes with the head of tourism!!!!!’ and ‘so cool, our accommodation left choccies on my pillow tonight!!!!!’ and really bad fuzzy photographs like I took with my first toy camera when I was about ten years old, that is not going to sell me a destination.
It was an interesting concept with potential, but I reckon it was badly done.

Solidarity said :

Hell, my mobile phone has buttons.

Does it wear spats?

poetix said :

But what would I know? I still don’t tweet or use facebook. Incredible that a person can live in such a state, really.

It’s more common than you may think.

Hell, my mobile phone has buttons.

This made me smile.

My list of non-tourist-attractions of Canberra would include riding bike paths very slowly and stopping to listen to the frogs.

But what would I know? I still don’t tweet or use facebook. Incredible that a person can live in such a state, really.

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