Over the past few weeks, the internet has been awash with pleas from 64 communities to vote for them in Outside magazine's "Best Town Ever" competition. We even got into the action when one of our clients (a quarterfinalist) asked us to spread the word on Facebook.
But, let's be real clear here. Chattanooga gets to call itself the "Best Town Ever" for the next year (or five), but it's not. It's the town with the Destination Marketing Organization that had the best communications plan to win the contest.
Not that it shouldn't have. The CVB sent out 400,000 emails during the monthlong contest, urging residents and fans to vote. They road Social Media and community pride all the way to nirvana. Bureau President Bob Doak said, "It's a superlative we look for in our business. Anything that ends with 'est' is what we're striving for. It just makes it so much easier to attract a group, convention, sporting activity."
And, that they did. But, we need to be mindful that the increasing number of "est" rankings with suspect criteria brings with it the chance that these ratings become meaningless to the consumer.
In the meantime...congratulations to Chattanooga. Well played.