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News TDA approves River Fest, mulls over more billboards

The Town of Franklin's Tourism Development Authority met on Monday afternoon to discuss a variety of issues and to set a date for its upcoming budget retreat.

To kick off the meeting, D'Anne Maddox from Premiere Marketing gave the board a rundown of the effectiveness of their marketing strategy that has been in place over the last year. Presenting the spreadsheets to the board, she illustrated how the online marketing campaign has worked.

“As you can see, Charlotte has moved to number one,” she said of the website visitors. “But I also put together the top 10 places that site visitors live and as you can see there are even people from New York that are visiting your page.”

Visitors to the site were also from cities like Jacksonville, Bowling Green and Atlanta, which is where the three billboards that are currently being rented are located. Site hits from Atlanta ranked third behind Charlotte and Franklin.

“I went ahead and looked into putting billboards in Charlotte next time since they are number one and it looks like it will be a 30-percent increase in funds,” she said. “But I'll say one thing, there's a lot of people in Charlotte and a lot of people have to sit in traffic in Charlotte.”

Maddox explained that if the board was to be interested in moving its focus to that area, there could be adjustments made to the marketing budget in order to make it work. The members asked her to return to the July retreat to discuss a marketing strategy for the upcoming fiscal year.

Board member Summer Woodard also presented some information that she was recently made aware of on behalf of Allison Outdoor Advertising. According to a representative, a digital billboard will be erected on 441 South next to the Subway restaurant and if the TDA were to elect to do so, could buy advertising space on it.

“There will be three tiers. The most expensive is $625 a month and will include our selected advertisement to be displayed once every minute for seven seconds,” said Woodard. “The next tier is cheaper, $450 a month. It is every two minutes that our ad would come up. The third option is $350 a month and it would mean that every four minutes, our ad would come up," said Woodard.

The issue will also be revisited at the retreat.

Grant funds

At last month's meeting, Lisa Leatherman, on behalf of the Daybreak Rotary Club made a request for $2,500 to help with advertising for the first annual Franklin River Fest event that will take place on August 23.

The event would consist of a 5K race, ducky derby, an Anything That Floats contest, food vendors, games and prizes.

Without much discussion and with members of the Rotary Club present, the board voted unanimously to approve the funds.

Dave Linn of Franklin, was a late addition to the agenda and made a fund request of $500 for an upcoming ’80s Flashback 8K race. Proceeds will be donated to Shriners Hospital and to a local family to help with their travels back and forth to the hospital.

“The Shriners is something that's near and dear to my heart. I've had great feedback and there will be people traveling from places like Minnesota, New York and even France that will be running in this race,” said Linn.

Participants of the race will be sporting attire straight out of the 1980s and it will reportedly be fun for all ages. The board will vote on the request at July's meeting which will be used as their retreat to discuss their budget for the 2014- 2015 fiscal year. The meeting is set for July 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall.


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