Laury Poland

Episode 27: A Collaborative Region is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts, with Laury Poland

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In this episode, you will learn about how regions can collaborate together and pool resources to do things together that they could not do alone from Laury Poland.

As president of Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association (FLWCTMA), Laury Poland is responsible for creation, coordination, administration and implementation of all FLWCTMA programs and initiatives to promote economic development in the Finger Lakes region of the state of New York. A native of Rockville, Maryland, Laury began her employment at the Corning, New York-based tourism marketing association on September 30, 2013.

Before coming to the Finger Lakes, Laury was responsible for all advertising and promotions initiatives of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) Bureau of Marketing Communications, Branding & Design. During this time, Laury developed a keen interest in the wine and spirits industry, completing significant coursework in wine education. In her professional role with the PLCB, Laury constructed full-scale traditional and new media campaigns, including website development, digital advertising, and a social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, as part of a $6M annual advertising budget. Laury also determined new areas of media to include in marketing and public relations efforts based on trends and technology. Laury wrote, produced and edited video projects for the PLCB’s 608 retail stores, Fine Wine & Good Spirits, and oversaw all print, web, radio, television and digital material, ensuring consistency of corporate brand image and messaging.

Prior to her time at the PLCB, Laury represented New York-based Church Pension Group Services Corporation (CPG) as vice president of Church Publishing Incorporated, from 2006-2011. Laury joined Continuum International Publishing Group in 2004, as director of Morehouse Church Supplies – a position she held until late 2005 when CPG acquired the book publishing, curriculum and church resource divisions of Morehouse Publishing. Laury was also a business owner, managing her own public relations, marketing and advertising firm, In-House Agency, from 1998-2004, serving as the communications specialist for numerous successful media initiatives. Laury holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism/Public Relations from the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Laury’s personal story of visiting the Finger Lakes as a tourist and how it challenged her conceptions of the region and allowed her to bring an outside perspective once she joined the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association
  • How to tell the story of the entire region and the success Laury has seen from doing this for the Finger Lakes Region
  • Giving your visitors an organic experience and letting them live like locals
  • Offering education opportunities for visitors in a way that doesn’t feel like the classroom
  • Why travelers are taking shorter vacations but packing more in
  • The study that shows that 81% of visitors who went to the Finger Lakes came back 5 times
  • Giving visitors the opportunity to find their own escape (and why you can’t find it for them)
  • Why the sum of the FLWCTMA’s parts is much greater than what the counties would have alone (ex: together they have the largest Facebook following for any wine region in America with 72,000 followers)
  • The FLWCTMA’s unique structure, why they act like a marketing agency and how funding flows throughout the whole system
  • The FLWCTMA’s integrated marketing plan, beginning with its website that sees a half a million unique visitors a year
  • Why word of mouth is the #1 referral and how it has evolved much in recent years with social media
  • The challenges Laury’s faced by collaborating with so many different organizations and how she overcame them by giving people the resources to do what they do best

Ways to contact Laury:

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