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Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Receives Communication Excellence Award for #KeepItColumbus Campaign

Blowing Rock, NC – The Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (CACCE) recognized the 2015 Communication Excellence Awards at their Leadership Development Conference at the Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, N.C. on April 23, 2015. The Communication Excellence Awards recognize outstanding communications efforts by chambers of commerce in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Communications were recognized in the following four categories:
1. Advertising & Marketing
2. Campaigns
3. Electronic
4. Publications

Entries were judged based on originality, design/quality and results achieved.

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Tourism’s comprehensive shop local campaign, #KeepItColumbus touts the benefits of shopping local. The Chamber hired Inspire Creative Studios to design the campaign with a younger audience in mind. The campaign included a comedic video of Christopher Columbus sailing into Lake Waccamaw and touring the county while touting the benefits of shopping local. The video has been viewed by over 5,000 people. In addition, media ads were placed in print, social, and radio.

Jennifer Holcomb, president of the Chamber is proud of the results of the campaign.

“The entire campaign has had a positive effect on our community and incidentally, our Chamber membership,” she said. “One business owner, who was on the fence about joining, did so after seeing the video on Facebook.

“They said that the Chamber’s willingness to think outside the box and try something ‘cutting edge’ made them want to be a part of our organization.”

Jonathan Medford, partner at Inspire Creative Studios, commented on the self-perpetuating quality of the #KeepItColumbus campaign.

“I think social media video campaigns are a cost-effective way to communicate marketing messages,” Medford said. “Now that the #KeepItColumbus campaign video is out there, the message can continue to grow within social media. It can sustain itself without calling for a continual investment of money.”

Geoff Hopkins, vice president/area executive for First Bank and chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, commended the campaign’s message and efforts to involve community members.

“The #KeepItColumbus campaign was a great exercise to keep our community aware of our local merchants, retailers and other service providers that we can, and should, support on a daily basis,” Hopkins said. “The campaign was simply a reminder for us all, as Columbus County residents, to consider the message in everything we do.”

CACCE is a professional development organization dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for chamber of commerce executives and staff members in North Carolina and South Carolina. CACCE equips chamber of commerce professionals with leadership skills and tools to build innovative chambers. The organization was formed in 1994 when the North and South Carolina state chamber associations merged.

For more information on CACCE, or any of CACCE’s conferences or programs, contact Tiffany Fulmer Ott at 404.312.0524. The campaign video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q68L1qKQKIo

Photo Caption:  Jennifer Holcomb receives an award for Communication Excellence from CACCE.