As a creative being I live for discovering inspiration all around me, and many times it’s inspiration that finds me. With fall fast approaching I think about the possibility of a road trip to take in the splendor of color that Pennsylvania has to offer, so I begin. Inspire me Pennsylvania.
Step one. Visit the website.
Hmmm. The site is short on inspiration and so is my time spent on visitpa.com. Where is the story? Where is the adventure? I know our state is beautiful, so why not celebrate it with the many tools a digital experience has to offer?
Mediocre = Forgettable
Step two. Lolly gag
So now that I am uninspired about the Pa. site, I troll around a bit online until I remember a site I saw a while ago about Maine. I believe it was an interactive newsletter?
Hello Maine! What a beautiful experience. I am instantly inspired by the elegant simplicity of the user interface, the stunning photography, rich media, and find the storytelling to be equally captivating. I am already thinking about adding flannel to my wardrobe and dusting off my camping gear (rarely used).
Inspiring = Memorable
I proceed to visitmaine.com and find the website to be an equal and impressive compliment to the quarterly newsletter. Well-done Maine.
Step three: Write this blog
Ramblings aside, the intent of this blog is to let you know that the art of the newsletter or e-zine as it is now called is alive and well. Maine’s Office of Tourism had great clarity and purpose to their mission and found an able creative partner who executed their vision masterfully. Let your stories drive the creative. And, with tourism being one of Maine’s largest industries, at about 13% employment in the state, the site had an economic burden to uphold.
I found an article about the e-zine redesign published by the Bangor Daily News that provided insight for this splendid publication:
The redesign was in response to changes in the ways people are making travel decisions, and represented an overall shift by the Office of Tourism to a values-based marketing program that would leverage the “sweet spot” between what Maine offers, what visitors/prospects want, and what is unique about the Maine experience.
The quarterly is distributed directly via opt-in email, and shared on the Maine Office of Tourism’s social media channels and website. Each quarterly e-zine video takes a deep dive into a story drawn from one of the four broad pillars of the Maine Office of Tourism’s strategic marketing plan: food; outdoors; art and culture; and sightseeing.
It’s not that I have a thing for newsletters but I do have a thing for people and places and organizations who inspire me with great stories, beauty and experiences…in this case it just happens to be a simply inspiring newsletter. So the next time you begin the task of refreshing or creating a new publication begin by answering these simple questions:
Who are you?
Who needs to know?
How will they find out?
Why should they care?
C’mon Pennsylvania, step it up!
 Bangor Daily News; 2014; Maine tourism wins two national awards for destination marketing
 Alina Wheeler; 2006; Designing Brand Identity; page 3