The 2019 Experience Cobourg guide is out, and marketing and events manager Kara Euale previewed it for council at this week's committee-of-the-whole meeting.
The cover shot chosen this year is footprints on the Cobourg beach.
“But the story we are trying to tell this year is, the beach is not our only story,” Euale said.
“A major story, of course, is our history and heritage,” she added, mentioning the Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre and the birthplace of Oscar-winning actress Marie Dressler. She thanked members of Victoria Hall Volunteers and other heritage agencies for checking the copy, and noted that spotlighting the Heritage Walking Tour adds an interactive touch.
There's a page for the town's wonderful festivals and events, Euale stated.
“This year we also did try to incorporate our amazing cultural activities.”
The marina-and-waterfront page includes a boater profile – a man who, with his wife, fell in love with Cobourg as a boater, and later moved to town to become a tax-paying resident. The page also has a sidebar listing beachfront events.
“We did sell advertising this year, but we didn't want this guide to scream, 'Advertising!' So one thing we did push this year is our big features we are calling advertorials.”
Six such features are included, which involved Euale and her staff interviewing business owners to create a personal profile of their businesses, with original photography by Cats Media.
One major push is called Stay and Play, she said.
“We are trying to promote our partners in and around Northumberland County. Our goal is to get people to come to Cobourg and extend their visit. Stay here, enjoy our restaurants, stay overnight in our hotels, but feel free to take a 15-, 20-km. drive outside our area to enjoy a round of golf or visit Herma's.”
Euale said 30,000 copies have been printed and distributed, from Mississauga to Ottawa as well as within Northumberland County. The guide is also easily downloadable from experiencecobourg.ca.
Not counting the website, she said, printing, production and distribution costs were about $36,000, while advertising revenue to date has brought in $31,781.
The advertorials won compliments from several councillors, including Adam Bureau.
“They are more like in-depth engagement stories where you really get to learn about the people,” Bureau said.
“I've looked at other guides, and their ads look like advertising – not in-depth stories – and the photos sometimes don't even go with what they are doing. “I've just got to say – outstanding job, and for that little money. Congratulations.”
Noting Cobourg's reputation as the Feel-Good Town, Mayor John Henderson said, “I can't believe you wouldn't feel good after reading this, and learning something good about our wonderful town.
“Congratulations to you and your department. You certainly will put us on the map.”