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Sarasota Thursday, Jul. 6, 2017 3 years ago

Visit Sarasota asks residents to invite friends and family to area

You ‘ota know about this new campaign from Visit Sarasota, based around a pun and digital postcards.
by: Cassidy Alexander Staff Writer

A new marketing campaign by Visit Sarasota County encourages residents to tell their friends to come visit, with the help of word play and a customizable digital postcard.

“You ‘Ota Visit” —pronounced “oh-tuh” — is a play on the words “oughta” and “Sarasota,” and is an effort to get residents to share their community with others.

“Potential visitors have many competing options when trying to decide on where to go, and locals like to ‘brag’ about living in Sarasota,” Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley said in a release.

The cornerstone of the campaign is a website where locals can customize and send a digital postcard to their friends or family, according to a release.

The postcards can also be shared on social media. Locals are encouraged to tag Visit Sarasota and use #youotavisit when sharing the postcards, or videos and images of their own that encourage friends and families to visit

While in the past, Visit Sarasota has worked with some residents with large social media followings or existing blogs to market the area, this is the first time the organization has asked for help in this way, Visit Sarasota Vice President Erin Duggan said.

“This is the first time we’ve really looked to every resident,” she said.

The broader focus is an attempt to grow the “friends and family” market in the county.

“Friends and family make up a big piece of business for Sarasota County,” Duggan said, and often visitors are staying in local hotels instead of with their relatives.

As for the pun, Duggan said it was just something the Visit Sarasota staff thought was funny.

“If anything, people chuckle when they hear ‘you ‘ota visit.’”


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