Building a brand is no easy feat.
The Tourist Development Council rolled out its new visitor’s guide in March, launching a new brand for Gulf County that focused on the natural beauty of the area. The latest marketing strategy is a series of eight wooden kiosks stationed at area parks that will display information, important events and alerts for visitors and residents.
TDC director Jennifer Jenkins approached the county commissioners with the idea for the kiosks. Jenkins was inspired by similar kiosks planned for Salinas Park would be updated with water conditions and operated by the South Gulf County Volunteer Fire Department.
While the fire department ended up with a digital display, there was still value in setting up an information booth at the park.
Joint Fire Chief Melissa Larsen said that there is regular communication between the fire department and the TDC. Any time Larsen changes the colored flags that signify water conditions and the TDC updates the flags on the Welcome Center website.
Larsen said that the TDC kiosks will add another form of communication for visitors and should be very helpful.
After Jenkins, with Larsen’s support, received approval from commissioners for the kiosks, strategic locations were chosen and the structures were built over the course of a month by the county maintenance team.
“It’s another touch point for visitors and they fit our brand,” said Jenkins.
The kiosks can be found at Frank Pate Park, Salinas Park, Gaskin Park, Highland View, Indian Pass, White City, the Dead Lakes and Beacon Hill.
These kiosks are not for paid advertisers and will be used exclusively for TDC-sponsored events and important information regarding seasonal fishing or riptide advisories.
Along with listing the “do’s and don’ts” for the area in which the kiosks sit, posted signage will encourage tourists to visit the Welcome Center in Port St. Joe. The kiosks will be actively updated once a month by TDC staff.
“These kiosks will allow us to continually communicate with visitors and relay the same message and same types of branding,” said Jenkins. “It’s been great working with the city and county and we’re very excited.”