Itâ€™s easy to verbally claim a marketing campaign is successful.
Itâ€™s easier to back it up when you can show that at least 35 per cent of the people following Tourism Langleyâ€™s Facebook page are engaging with comments, shares, and posts.
But it speaks volumes when it can be shared how one of the photographs from the relatively new #LangleyFresh social media campaign reached one woman half way around the globe.
Late last month, during the first weekend snowfall, someone shared a picture â€“ through #LangleyFresh â€“ of the old school house in Campbell Valley Park surrounded by snow. Tourism Langley staff posted it to Facebook, and watched a touching story of community spirit and compassion unfold.
Shelli Wardell Rasmussen commented on the picture.
â€œAbsolutely beautiful!!!â€ she said. â€œI live in Denmark and my parents are buried in the Fort Langley cemetery. Would be really cool to see some photos from there right now. Should be so pretty.â€
Tourism Langley staff thanked Rasmussen for connecting with them, but it was the reaction of the community that moved Tourism Langleyâ€™s executive director Deborah Kulchiski to tears.
â€œIt literally brought tears to my eyes,â€ she said, explaining how several people began posting pictures of Fort Langley, including several overview shots of the Glover Road cemetery.
One woman even offered to head down to the cemetery â€“ once the snow had cleared â€“ and takes pictures of her parents headstones.
â€œWOW!!!! You guys are amazing. Thanks so much,â€ she replied.
This is just one example of the photos and stories that are being exchanged through the #LangleyFresh campaign.
Kulchiski said, itâ€™s because of exchanges like this that she and her team will be able to hail #LangleyFresh as a success during the Tourism Langley annual general meeting later this week.
The concept for the campaign came out of last yearâ€™s AGM, when Kulchiski reported excess funds that she wanted to see directed into marketing, and ways of â€œincreasing awareness for Langley.â€
â€œPeople know about Langley. They know where we are, they know generally were weâ€™re located and some of the products we have to offer,â€ Kulchiski said.
But people werenâ€™t talking about Langley enough, hence the birth of #LangleyFresh.
The campaign started last October, and is aimed at engaging residents and visitors to share how they see Langley through items on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media. A lot of the participants have been sharing landscape photos, but more and more people are engaging and sharing other aspects of life in Langley.
â€œWe want to give people a reason to look at Langley and to place Langley at top of mind,â€ when planning vacations, daytrips, or backyard outings.
â€œThis campaign has exceeded our expectations,â€ Kulchiski said. â€œAnd itâ€™s been really exciting to see Langley through other peopleâ€™s eyes.â€
Sports personality serves as AGM guest speakers
The AGM â€“ set for Thursday, March 6 â€“ will also feature a reception and a tourism-related business showcase.
Global BC sports anchor Barry Deley is the speaker for the seventh annual general meeting.
Between car shows, festivals, sporting events, agri-tourism destinations, and cultural and historic sites, itâ€™s estimated that Langley attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, said Kulchiski.
The best way for new residents and tourists alike to discover all that Langley has to offer is by calling on Langley Tourism.
Kulchiski noted that, while fewer people showing up in person at the centre prompted the move to smaller digs, the numbers of people seeking information about Langley online is skyrocketing.
For those looking for information or tourism ideas, theyâ€™re welcome to visit Tourism Langley at 7888 200th St., or online at www.tourism-langley.ca.
In the meantime, the AGM is being held at Trinity Western Universityâ€™s Reimer Student Centre alumni office, is being held at 5:30 p.m. on March 6. People are asked to reserve ahead by contacting Christina Marchand at 604-888-1477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.