Thursday, 19 November 2009

"How do visitors find out about you?"

Things are changing for promoting visitor attractions and tourism businesses. Is it advertising, recommendation, word of mouth, leaflets, social networking, signs, Twitter, TV, radio etc? To find out more join the professionals networking site LinkedIn and see the discussion in the Visitor Attractions Group at

Nick Booker's profile | World Reviewer

Nick Booker's profile World Reviewer

Interesting story - I stumbled across Landed Houses while doing some marketing development work for the owners of an Arts and Crafts country house in Mid Wales that is available to let. If Landed Houses can focus on their core product and not diversify into smaller houses, winter holidays etc then they should be on to a winner. Good site - easy to navigate and I like the owner's blog - to the point - warts and all of his tour around the houses on the site - and making the observation that in these large and old houses you will not always get ensuite for every room - that's part of the charm of the country house experience!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Heritage Attractions Group

See the new sub group - Heritage Attractions - of the LinkedIn Visitor Attractions group at:

The Heritage Attractions sub group is for all those involved in running and managing or servicing heritage attractions including museums, castles, historic houses, literary and other heritage themed attractions, preserved railways, industrial archaeological sites etc

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Disaster communications in a social networking media world

Disaster Communications in a Changing World
Credits: George D Haddow and Kim S Haddow
Publisher's name, year of publication: Elsevier, 2009-07-11 ISBN: 978-1-85617-554--8
Number of pages:218

The front cover of this book features a picture that perhaps sums up how far we have come in communicating and managing news of disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and accidents and terrorist incidents. It's a screen shot of the Twitter web site. The advent of the internet, blogging, social networking, YouTube etc means "first informers" or witnesses have the ability to leapfrog traditional news channels and those who want to manage news. As the authors say, governments' role as gatekeepers of news is now an anachronism. This book looks at the key elements of disaster communications and how to manage news and information in the context of new media.

Much of the material covers the planning that organisations should have in place anyway - like a Crisis PR plan and providing front line staff with media training. However, it looks in detail at integrating new media and imbedding it into planning and implementation before disaster strikes. It is not just a dry analysis but very much a book to be picked up and used as a reference with lots of practical suggestions such as dealing with interviews and uses case studies to illustrate dos and don'ts. There are descriptions of other resources to consult such as web sites and a short bibliography of other books to read but given its subject most of the references are to other web sites

If the book has a fault, it is its North American bias. However that is a small criticism in the context of the insight that the authors, both experts with practical experience, provide for dealing with communications management whether TV or text messaging. It should be on the bookshelf of anyone likely to have to handle communications in a crisis either in the public or private sectors
Review The Tourism Society Magazine Autumn 2009 by Nick Booker

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Naseby Battlefield Project

Attract has just been appointed project manager for the Naseby Battlefield Project that is planning a visitor centre and museum alongside the battlefield in Northamptonshire

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Director Development and Mentoring

The Director Development Programme (DDP) provides leadership and management advice and subsidised training to the principal decision maker or key decision makers/directors of companies with between 5 and 249 employees in the West Midlands.
Would you or your team gain from receiving mentoring, coaching and support in:
Leadership: Key Development Areas:
· Strategic
· Analytical
· Inspirational
· Personal
Management: Key Development Areas
· Products and Services
· Developing Markets
· People Development
· Finance
· Sales and Marketing
· Operations
Grant Funding from Business Link of up to £1,000 is available:
First £500 grant is not required to be matched by the client and is available to the key director (principal decision maker).

Additional £500 grant is available but must be cash matched. It can be utilised by the key director or additional key decision makers identified by the Key Director.
Training can be delivered on a one-to-one or group basis. In terms of groups, this can be to management teams from the same company or to a network of leaders and managers from the different companies. The same grant funding regime applies. For example, a management team from the same business (which includes the principal decision maker) can receive a £1,000 grant towards training costs of £1,500.

Equally, for a network of leaders/managers from different companies, those that are principal decision-makers in their business can receive grant funding of up to £500 (fully-funded) and other key decision, up to £500 with the same level of cash match funding.

Interested? Then call Nick Booker on 01926 864900 or email with DDP in the title

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Recent projects and visits

Most of our projects are very visual so we take photographs. For some recent and current projects and also some visits to places we have some views and comments on see

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Using blogs for marketing and site optimisation

Last year Nick Booker of Attract Marketing provided marketing advice and support for three privately owned historic houses including The West Wing Abbey Manor at Evesham, Worcestershire. The West Wing does stylish country house bed and breakfast and as part of the effort to increase bookings built a blog that is effectively an additional web site at Nick has been tweaking the content over the last few months and the site also has in bound links from Flickr and Youtube - it's featured on both sites - as well as other relevant sites . Put 'bed breakfast Evesham' into Google now and its on the first page. In fact it beats West Wing's own site at that's handled by another organisation.

It goes to show that low cost routes to market work - the next step is to get the owners of West Wing to use Twitter and start Twittering.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

LinkedIn Group for Visitor Attractions

A new LinkedIn networking group for all those involved in working in or for all kinds of visitor attractions has been opened on LinkedIn at

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Tips, tricks and hints on fundraising

For professional tips and tricks of fundraising for festivals, tourism and heritage projects and museums see the presentation from Nick Booker of Attract Marketing Ltd and Bridget Rennie, Development Manager of City of London Festival showcased at the highly successful Tourism Management Institute Hot Topic Event 2009 Conference in Birmingham in May 2009. See it on the articles section of

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

using Google Adwords to attract more visitors

If you are contemplating using Google Adwords have a look at before you do so. At the Ultra Marketing web site there are comments gathered from the many experts on LinkedIn on how and how not to use Google Adwords effectively. The moral is - make sure your web site is fully optimised and WG3 compliant before you do so. It's easy to rack up spend on Adwords without any gathering any effective contribution to the bottom line. But have a read - there's some good stuff there.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Tourism Workshops and Seminars

Attract Marketing offer a range of workshops and seminars tailored to the potential audience and based around the subject of the Development and Marketing of Heritage Tourism Products

The range of workshops/seminars include the following topics:
What is Heritage Tourism?Topic 1: Basic Concepts - Setting the Scene
Topic 2: Audience Development – what is it and who will come?
Topic 3: Interpretation - developing themes and story lines
Topic 4: Access for all - physical and intellectual
Best Practice in Heritage TourismTopic 5: Collections & Conservation Management Plans
Topic 6: Heritage Learning
Topic 7: Feasibility Studies - key elements
Topic 8: Applying the theory - Case Studies
Visitor IssuesTopic 1: Creating an Audience Development Plan
Topic 2: Operating the Heritage Attraction
Topic 3: Creating a Learning and Access Plan
Topic 4: The Marketing Campaign Plan
Case Study based on a visit to a local attraction - Making it betterTopic 5: Analysing the problem - Writing the brief
Topic 6: Developing a new offer
Topic 7: Making it work
Topic 8: Launching the revamped attraction

The clients for this series include a European Union funded workshop for the Estonian Tourist Board where we worked with a local consultant Oliver Loode of Consumetric.
Download the introductory presentation from for more information.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Research and Interpretation

Attract gets very involved in research from time to time as part of developing Interpretation Plans, identifying the significance of museum collections etc. While not part of an Attract project the blog at illustrates what can be achieved with persistence and some luck to provide a human face to some potentially rather dry facts.

Friday, 16 January 2009