Milwaukee Blogger Brings Expanding Arts Scene to Center Stage

VISIT Milwaukee focuses on arts and entertainment to help improve visitor perception of the city

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ — As the second step in a series of grassroots marketing tactics, VISIT Milwaukee, formerly the Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau, is introducing a blog targeting arts and entertainment enthusiasts. VISIT Milwaukee is continuing to use blogs in an effort to reach a more global audience through new and innovative ways as the organization finds success with its outdoor blog, launched in June. The arts and culture blog, http://www.paintthetown.blogs.com/ , was launched on Aug. 1st and will chronicle a local resident’s experiences while attending various arts events and venues throughout the Milwaukee area.

Sarah Mankowski, a local teacher, freelance journalist and actress is the author of the Paint The Town blog. The site will provide a global audience with a place to learn about the vast amenities available throughout the city. “The blog is about creating a network to educate people around the world about the artistic community thriving within Milwaukee,” said Mankowski. “My goal is for the blog to become a forum where people will learn about and discuss the theatrical, artistic and musical happenings in the Milwaukee area.”

VISIT Milwaukee is able to reach a large audience by utilizing this type of marketing. Focusing on enthusiasts both in and outside the city, the blog will target individuals interested in a variety of arts and culture opportunities. The Paint The Town blog will also be used to communicate amenities available to conference and convention delegates and decision-makers as they consider or plan a trip to Milwaukee.

VISIT Milwaukee is leading the industry with the implementation of blog marketing in their communications campaign. “Following the immediate success of the outdoor enthusiast blog, we felt it was important to communicate other strong features driving leisure travelers and conference delegates into our city,” said Mary Denis, vice president of marketing at VISIT Milwaukee. “Focusing on arts and entertainment was a clear choice because of the various music and cultural festivals, historic theatres and variety of museums open year-round in the city.”

Throughout the upcoming year Sarah hopes to reach individuals who are interested in both the mainstream arts and unique local opportunities. Her plans include frequenting many of the historic theatres and music halls found throughout the city, as well as taking in world-class exhibits at the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum and other museums and galleries. Beyond her focus of the traditional sense of art, Sarah plans to showcase the city’s beautiful blend of history and culture by leading readers through the Historic Third Ward and Old World Third Street. She also plans to capture the vibe found at various shops and galleries on Brady Street and throughout the East Side, some of Milwaukee’s more eclectic neighborhoods.

“Our main objective is to provide the world with a true and honest perspective of what is available to visitors traveling to Milwaukee,” said Denis. “Taking in the entire city, they will experience the arts at its finest, whether at the amazing Calatrava-designed addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum or window shipping at the trendy but quaint shops on the vibrant East Side.”

As was the goal with the outdoor blog, VISIT Milwaukee keeps an arm’s length and gives Sarah the freedom to post honestly regarding her experiences. Provided only with the tools to maintain a successful blog, Sarah received a technology stipend, high-speed Internet service for one year and assistance with the planning of activities.

It is anticipated that the content of the Paint The Town blog will create its own conversation, but additional promotions will be done to drive traffic to the site. This will include grassroots online marketing, as well as traditional public relations to educate the public and positively influence their perception of the city.

“Milwaukee offers its visitors a large variety of opportunities to learn, participate and grow,” said Denis. “The public has embraced our outdoor scene and it was time that we showcase the tremendous art and culture opportunities that deserve global attention.”

About VISIT Milwaukee

VISIT Milwaukee markets Greater Milwaukee to tourists, convention and meeting planners nationally and internationally and is dedicated to ensuring our guests are warmly welcomed and enjoy an enriching experience in this jewel of the Great Lakes. Tourism generated $2.4 billion in spending in Greater Milwaukee in 2004 and supported about 61,000 local jobs. The Spirit of Milwaukee and Potawatomi Bingo Casino are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call 1-800-554-1448 or visit http://www.visitmilwaukee.org/

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