To say it’s been a trialing past few years for the Jersey Shore is putting it delicately.
While one would think MTV’s reality show of the same name had desensitized television viewers to the worst of devastation that one might bear witness to along the East Coast’s iconic boardwalk, the wrath of a belligerent Snooki proved nothing when compared to the utter destruction caused when Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012.
Displacing people from their homes, as well as their jobs
, the storm’s wake saw images shared on social media
that were only the beginning of a long journey ahead for local businesses and organizations.
One such organization was the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
, an independent state agency that finances small and mid-sized businesses while revitalizing communities through restoration initiatives and entrepreneurial development programs.
With the Shore comprising the largest portion of the state’s $38 billion tourism industry, the EDA knew precisely where it needed to focus its attention following the so-called “superstorm.” It would need to do all it could to help restore, rebuild, and renew the Shore.
Its main concern: Could it accomplish all of this in only four weeks?
Using surveys, tourism data, and a comprehensive social listening study, the EDA’s research determined it would need to change the perception of the traveling public by proving to them that the Shore they loved hadn’t been washed out to sea along with the boardwalk’s cherished rollercoaster.
A preseason poll of likely Shore tourists discovered that one-third of visitors believed that Seaside Heights and its surrounding coastal neighbors would be closed for the summer, with 61 percent of past visitors claiming to have only seen images of the Jersey Shore’s devastation in the media—no news of its restoration.
This is where the EDA turned to MWW
for help in its quest to rehabilitate visitors’ perceptions in time for the impending summer season. The two devised a program combining broadcast television and other media planning endeavors in order to be visible both on the air as well as active on the ground in the affected communities.
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