A New TDC Marketing Plan…or not

While the Tourism Development Council has a new sheriff in town in the person of Office of Tourism Executive Director Peter Cranis, I am withholding judgment on the proposed $7.15m advertising budget for the next fiscal year.These dollars have not been wisely spent or accounted for in the past and with roughly the same folks making the recommendations can there really be hope for change?Maybe not in the first year.I will hold out hope for more transparency for this round and more accountability in future years.

With Cranis being in his first year on the job he’s been operating on the previous administration’s budget and under those proposed expenditures.Has he influenced this budget?He certainly has. Can he claim it as wholly his?Not really.But what has encouraged my about Cranis is that he is open to scrutiny and he seems to demand accountability.

The TDC’s Marketing Committee spent all of 2 hours to approve this $7.15m, I am certain Cranis poured many more hours over the preparation and presentation of these ideas.Cranis sees this as year one of a three year initiative.It’s about time we saw a planner as opposed to a spender in this seat.

The plan has year round elements focusing on different segments of the likely tourist population and the seasons they head to the Sunshine State.Cranis plans to hit people with TDC advertising while they are planning their Florida trips and also while they are in Florida.If they aren’t here, tell them why they should be.It sounds reasonable.I just hope the expenditures are wise ones.We have seen frivolous spending in various ways though the years that included billboards to nowhere, advertising at another beach for beach tourists and a $67,000 statue that brings absolutely nobody to Brevard.

Cranis has innovative ideas on TV and radio advertising and on drawing airlines to MELBOURNE International airport (without the deception the airport itself uses to confuse travelers).He is also looking for staffers that can implement his vision with integrity and accountability.

A good plan, well executed could go a long way to gaining a reputation for the Office of Tourism as a beneficial office as opposed to a siphon of tax dollars.It would appear to me, based on early indicators, that Cranis is just the man for that job.It may take further TDC committee adjustments and a little more “sheriffing” of the dollars spent, but Peter Cranis deserves a chance.Change in any institutional environment is not easy and this job may be particularly tough.He’s in year one.Let’s play this one out and see what develops.

At least so far we aren’t seeing statues to which people are not flocking in droves!


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