COASTAL MISSISSIPPI (September 24, 2019) – Coastal Mississippi was honored with the Best Social Media Strategy Award and 2019 Mississippi Research-In-Action Award at this year’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held in Columbus, Mississippi. The regional convention & visitors bureau also took home the Travel Media Award on behalf of Charles McCool of McCool Travel, who had also been nominated by Coastal Mississippi.

According to the Mississippi Tourism Association, Coastal Mississippi was awarded the Best Social Media Strategy Award due to its dedication to not only developing a strong online presence, but also due to strategizing its digital execution to maximize results and interaction with audiences.

Coastal Mississippi entered into a partnership with Sparkloft Media, an award-winning social media agency, prior to launching its new brand in March 2019. A social media playbook was developed, placing an increased emphasis on both informational and inspirational content creation, utilizing five pillars of audience-driven themes aimed at capitalizing on the strengths and assets of the tri-county region. Once Coastal Mississippi: The Secret Coast was launched, all social handles were changed to reflect the updated brand language, and the organization implemented the #SecretCoast hashtag with the goal of finding and generating conversations by visitors and locals alike. To date, over 1,000 posts include the hashtag on Instagram alone, and overall media impressions have seen a dramatic increase. In the three months following the brand launch, Coastal Mississippi saw tangible YOY growth in March (230 percent), April (370 percent) and May (200 percent). New followers across all platforms after implementation of new brand were 9,056.

Coastal Mississippi was awarded the Coastal Region 2019 Mississippi Research-In-Action Award for its multitude of research initiatives prior to the launch of Coastal Mississippi: The Secret Coast. These awards date back to 2001 and are presented by Tom Van Hyning, Tourism Economist & Data Analyst at Mississippi Development Authority.

“This recognition should be given to our tourism industry leaders who we value for their talents and achievements through their outstanding accomplishments,” said Annette Rand, President of the Mississippi Tourism Association. “We are happy to have the opportunity to honor the winners of these awards as we truly appreciate their dedication not only to our organization but to the entire tourism industry, the state’s fourth largest industry.”

“It is a great honor to be awarded such accolades amongst an array of phenomenal, hard-working tourism entities across the State of Mississippi,” said Milton Segarra, CEO of Coastal Mississippi. “By promoting a destination through inspirational visuals and storytelling, social media - and media coverage across the board - plays a vital role in many aspects of tourism, particularly in the travel planning, information search, and decision-making process. I am extremely proud of the team at Coastal Mississippi and am excited for the future of the tourism industry on The Secret Coast.”


About Coastal Mississippi

Coastal Mississippi is an organization charged with promoting South Mississippi as a tourism and convention destination worldwide. Its mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure, convention, sports and business visitors
to the area. It is dedicated to maximizing the travel and tourism industry for South Mississippi.
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