BISBEE — It would be hard to find anyone more enthusiastic about promoting their hometown than Jen Luria and Bridget Shanahan.
The “ambassadors” exuded excitement talking about their marketing firm Dog Cat Mouse Media (DCMM) and the promotions they have planned for the future to bring more people to Bisbee, not just to play for a day or two, but to make it their new hometown.
They combine their talents and creativity — Luria marketing and face-to-face contact and Shanahan graphic artist — with the social media wizard Rachael Hudson to create high quality logos, websites and other marketing products for the city and for many other businesses in Bisbee and beyond.
“Rachael is amazing,” said Luria. “She gets the messages out there on all the platforms.”
The women share a mutual respect and admiration for each other.
Shanahan noted, “Jen is an incredibly friendly partner and dedicated designer-marketer who knows how to take charge of a project from start to finish. She confidently and patiently knows how to get to the heart of a problem and figure out classic and timelessly stylish solutions.”
Luria responded, “Bridget is a cool cat partner and designer who is deeply curious about the world around her. She believes in the power of connecting to people’s emotional centers through the use of imagery and storytelling. She likes to step away from the computer every now and again to tend to her plants, try out new recipes and paint portraits of the cats in her life.”
As for Hudson, “Rachael is a resourceful and savvy social media queen. She has an abundance of ideas to keep people engaged and aware. She feels strongly about being connected to her local community.
Whether or not she is working Rachael might be traveling as she has a passion to get out there and see the world.”
DCMM is growing fast, a testament to the creative dedication given to those who hire them, and soon more staff may be added to keep up with demand for services. It is a benchmark Luria and Shanahan are thrilled to achieve.
To give prospective visitors a look inside the character of the art community, they are developing the Bisbee Creator series, which will focus on various artists and provide a glimpse into their lives.
“It’s to show people who the creative people are and what they create,” said Luria.
“We want to connect people to the local artist community,” added Shanahan. “Show them before they get here what they might see.”
They are collaborating with the Cochise County Tourism and Economic Council and other destinations to develop a tourism package to maximize efforts.
Though their marketing strategies may bring in the people, retailers, restaurants and hoteliers have the responsibility to welcome them to town. That first smile can make a big difference in how visitors view the establishment and the town.
“It’s important for someone to greet them as they walk through the door, be friendly” said Luria.
Right now, as the city tries to find someone to fill the visitor center coordinator position, Luria, who used to hold the position, and Shanahan are helping to fill that void in addition to marketing. There are two part time employees that staff the main center at the Queen Mine Tour and the satellite center in Old Bisbee at the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum, but Luria has been responding to emails sent to her old city account.
“People need to hear back from us,” Luria said.
Herald/Review: Dog Cat Mouse Media is an unusual name. Why that?
Dog Cat Mouse Media: Our namesake comes from the unique story of a Bisbee transient, Greg Pike, also known as “dog-cat-mouse guy” who earned media attention for his street act of his dog, cat, and mouse all balancing on top of each other which really resonated with us. We loved this tale of these three animals that worked together in harmony and for a common goal. The dog in our name stands for patience, reliability, and playfulness. The cat for curiosity, intelligence, and agileness. The mouse for modesty, resourcefulness, and adaptability. These are all traits that we strive to bring to every project.
HR: What is the most important aspect of marketing for tourism today?
DCMM: While tourism marketing is an important function of economic development, marketing toward tourists is about showing them how they can temporarily escape their normal, hectic lives for a change of venue and entertainment. Tourists spend thousands of dollars to travel and have a good time. Towns need to be marketed to let the potential visitor know what they can expect upon visiting. Repeat visitors can turn into full time residents, adding to the population and tax base.
Additionally, tourism affects a myriad of businesses: travel and transportation, leisure activities, food and beverage, entertainment, retail, accommodation and hospitality. In a rural town like Bisbee, tourism is integral to help provide jobs and keep the economy afloat.
With more people making plans and booking through their mobile phones we have to make sure we are targeting places where people are looking for travel inspiration on their phones such as social media and websites like TripAdvisor which we just finished running a Bisbee as campaign that performed at nearly four times the industry standard.
HR: Where should energies be put toward reaching a new audience?
DCMM: We are interested in outreach to urban city centers like Portland, Or., Seattle, Wash., and San Francisco, Calif., to grab the attention of like-minded individuals who most likely would enjoy a colorful, artistic and lively community such as Bisbee. We feel Bisbee resonates well with this demographic who is looking to escape the big city life but still desires to live in an interesting, beautiful, affordable, and active community. Attracting those with an entrepreneurial spirit or who can work remotely would be complimentary to Bisbee’s community.
HR: Do you know the reasons people come to Bisbee? Art, shopping, restaurants, events?
DCMM: People come to Bisbee for the art, history, tours, weather, outdoor activities, events, food, music and shopping.
HR: What are the demographics of Bisbee’s visitors – age, income, etc. ?
DCMM: Bisbee’s visitor is a wide-ranging demographic — from age range and ethnicity to lifestyle and job roles. We can target different demographics through different media platforms. For instance, we know that a little bit older demographic visits us through our website and Facebook, but we have a slightly younger audience we can reach through Instagram.
HR: Bisbee has received numerous “Best Ofs.” Do these listings attract more visitors?
DCMM: These articles and listings help to keep Bisbee in the forefront of people’s minds. They do attract more visitors and bring previous visitors back again. Any kind of third party endorsement is helpful in attracting more visitors. They also provide content that visitors engage with on our social media. And these lists hold tremendous advertising value and are free for the city.
HR: What can be done to increase summer visitors and is there a plan?
DCMM: One of our main marketing messages to increase summer visitation is to promote our cooler weather and beautiful monsoon season to the Phoenix and Tucson market. We are often thought of as being “hotter” since we are more south and it is our job to help change that misconception. Another misconception we battle is safety on our border. It is important to us to share the message of what life is really like for us living in a border community. We also plan to partner with other destinations and businesses in the tourism industry to help cross-promote to a shared audience.