The director of SIT Tourism, Leslie Johnson, began promoting the journey and educating the community about Paddle to Squaxin 2012 beginning in 2009. She presented to international, national and local tradeshows. The Canoe Journey was included in documents presented to Germany, UK, Japan, China, America, Tribal and First Nations, and other tour operators.
Presentations were made to local area Chambers, as well as government agencies and municipalities, along with the Visitor Convention Bureau. She also joined the Olympia Rotary (200 members of the business community) to educate and involve the business community.
Many of these presentations resulted in direct contact with Leslie for sponsorship, volunteering or additional information. Maritime community members that also belong to the Olympia Rotary assisted with the Canoe Journey landing. Rotary and other associations also volunteered before and during the journey.
SIT Tourism was responsible for public relations, marketing and communications. Leslie, with major assistance from Beth McBain of Greentime Marketing, created the 40 page Community Guide Magazine that was inserted into The Olympian to 25,000 homes. Thousands of copies were also made available to Canoe Family members and the community who joined us at the landing and during the week long protocol at Kamilche. When the Olympian came out, they received many requests for extras!
We also had street banners in Shelton and Olympia.
SIT Tourism, along with the Department of Information Services, was also responsible for the web site. Theresa Henderson constructed and maintained the web site and JeNene Miller managed the database. For the first time ever, the web site offered live streaming of protocol and accepted credit card payments for registration. Also for the first time, we made CJ Guides available online and printed fewer for the sake of the environment. There are many photos of the journey on PaddletoSquaxin2012.org! There were over 27,000 visits to this site!
We received requests for press credentials from all over the world. We issued over 100 press passes to local, national and international photographers, reporters and film makers. We look forward to following up on these projects and making many of them available to our local and Tribal communities.
We also produced, with the Department of Information Services, a poster, the program and the Canoe Family Guide! A few extras of the magazine and posters are available as keepsakes of the paddle. Please call Leslie Johnson at 432-3838 for a copy.