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An Aiken State of Mind 2016 Community Guide - Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce

2016 ACE: Award of Excellence

The Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce annually produces the Welcome Aiken community guide and business resource guide. The unique theme of the 2016 edition is An Aiken State of Mind. This year the format of the publication was changed to include an 8 page photo spread as the feature piece. After all, it is hard to put into words all the many things Aiken means to each person in the community. Using photographs from local photographers AP Gouge, Moose Pro Foto and Steve Rich, the meaning of an Aiken State of Mind comes to life through the lenses of their cameras. These photos show the diverse appeal of Aiken as a place to live, work, visit and enjoy. In addition to the photo spread, new photography was added throughout the piece to continue the theme.


Date: February 14, 2017
Organization: Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Website: http://www.aikenchamber.net
City: Aiken, SC
Community Peer Group: Emerging Cities
Revenue Category: $900,001-2,000,000

An Aiken State of Mind 2016 Community Guide - Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce

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Synopsis:

The Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce annually produces the Welcome Aiken community guide and business resource guide. The unique theme of the 2016 edition is An Aiken State of Mind.

This year the format of the publication was changed to include an 8 page photo spread as the feature piece. After all, it is hard to put into words all the many things Aiken means to each person in the community. Using photographs from local photographers AP Gouge, Moose Pro Foto and Steve Rich, the meaning of an Aiken State of Mind comes to life through the lenses of their cameras. These photos show the diverse appeal of Aiken as a place to live, work, visit and enjoy. In addition to the photo spread, new photography was added throughout the piece to continue the theme.

The Welcome Aiken Magazine is an excellent reference for locals and visitors alike. The relocation section is a valuable tool for those transitioning to a new community. The publication serves as a recruitment tool for employers seeking to attract talent to the area and the business directory in the back helps everyone Shop Aiken for all their needs. Approximately 8,000 copies are distributed each year.

In addition to a print copy being delivered to each of the Aiken Chamber’s 1,000 members, each member and their employees receive an email with a link to the electronic version on the Chamber’s website. The members can then share this with their contacts as well. Aiken Regional Medical Centers, one of the advertisers in the piece, reports a 150 percent increase in referrals from the Chamber’s site to their site in the two months following Welcome Aiken’s release with 84 percent of those being new users to the site.

“Our goal is to show residents, visitors and potential residents why Aiken is so special. Our community is blessed to have many amenities and choices for people of all ages,” said Aiken Chamber President/CEO J. David Jameson. “This publication is an opportunity to show off a little and express the pride we all feel in having An Aiken State of Mind.”

The process of developing the 2016 Welcome Aiken began in June 2015 with selecting a theme. Advertising sales also began at that time. Each member is contacted in November and their information is verified before the database is uploaded. This results in an accurate and timely resource directory being delivered to members by the New Year. The entire publication from ad sales, to printing and delivery is coordinated through the Aiken Chamber and not by a third party organizer resulting in larger revenues. The budget for the project was $105,000 in revenue and $61,000 in expenses generating an excess of $44,000 in net non-dues revenues for the chamber. Revenue is generated through the sales of display ads through-out the magazine and enhanced membership listings in our directory.

The Welcome Aiken magazine style publication is a print and Web-based piece that delivers the Aiken community message through quality design, catchy ads, well written copy and beautiful photography. Welcome Aiken is a service to Aiken Chamber members, community visitors and residents, as well as to the Chamber itself through revenue generation.

 

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