Chicago-area television viewers will not be learning about Pulaski County’s recreational offerings in advance of the summer vacation season. There’s money in the CDC budget for advertising, but the county commissioners balked at the request to spend it. They previously suggested the county could use the internet for advertising and promotion.
Executive Director Nathan P. Origer told them the county already has a tourism page on its website. He says people who are aware of Pulaski County use the site to look things up, but it’s not necessarily going to introduce the community to potential visitors.
“People don’t know Pulaski County like they know other tourism spots. Brown County gets about 1.25 to 1.4 million visitors a year,” Origer explained. “They’ve got name recognition that Tippecanoe (River State Park) doesn’t have. Tippecanoe gets about 10 percent of that. There is a lot of room for us to get our name out there because we’ve got a lot to offer.”
The proposed Comcast cable television buy would have reached a potential 1.2 million viewers with 4,000 commercials and 125,000 online impressions for $22,045.
Origer says right now people don’t recognize Pulaski County as a destination.
“How many times do I hear people around here say there’s nothing to do here? Imagine if you’ve never heard of a town of 2,400 in a county of 13,000 in the middle of rural Indiana? They don’t know that we have a state park with a river—one of the top 10 rivers in the country—plus campgrounds to stay at, plus the trail. It’s an easy, cheap vacation, day trip or overnight, assuming you can find a place to stay overnight.”
The professionally-produced commercial aired last year during the Academy of Country Music Awards. Commissioner Jerry Locke suggested instead having a competition for students at the county’s two high schools to create promotional videos to be shown on the internet.
“I definitely believe we’ve got to advertise Pulaski County to get people in to spend money, but I’d like to see us go in a different direction,” Locke said.
Origer’s proposal nearly died for a lack of a motion until County Attorney Kevin Tankersley resolved a parliamentary inquiry and told President of the Commissioners Kenny Becker he could make a motion. Becker’s motion to spend half of the proposed budget on television ads failed to get a second from either Locke or Bud Krohn, Jr.