Persuading public officials to support DMOs is a growing challenge. Jack Johnson at Destinations International says talking about ‘heads in beds’ or restaurant sales can sometimes backfire, making DMOs appear to be advocates for ‘corporate welfare’ for specific industries.

In this interview with Bill Geist’s ‘DMO University,’ Johnson shows how to connect destination marketing with community values such as education and fire protection – which elected officials support. He explains how to demonstrate that DMOs are not just marketing to visitors, but to potential investors who may relocate their talent or their company, attend destination schools, or see the destination as a good investment opportunity.

DMOs need to help elected officials see brand development as the link to outside money – helping reduce the need to raise taxes or cut programs. Johnson shows how you can use specific words and phrases to reinforce the message.

“Destination organizations are at the center of whether a community succeeds or fails,” Johnson says, definitely a shared community value! (33 minutes)