By Meg Dickens
County Mayor Mike Taylor announced a new social media campaign during the Johnson County Commission’s Thursday, November 19 meeting. Members of the community are coming together to make promotional videos a reality under the direction of Kelley St. Germain. None of this would be possible without the help of a new tourism grant.
Like several grants in the past, this specific grant depends on the census count. Johnson County’s numbers earned it $25,000 earmarked towards tourism. Johnson County will release a total of six 30-second videos promoting the area and encouraging visitors to support local businesses. Officials accepted all six video proposals.
“Those funds had to be used to say to the general public that Johnson County is open,” said Mayor Taylor. “Come see us. We’re going to be safe. We encourage people to wear masks. We encourage people to social distance but let them know that places like DMRA (Doe Mountain Recreation Area), the art center, restaurants, and all kinds of things are open.”
The committee working on this project includes Mayor Mike Taylor, Johnson County Center for the Arts’ Director Cristy Dunn, DMRA Director Tate Davis, and State Board of Tourism Representative Dave Jones. County worker and newly elected City Alderman Dustin Shearin also played a part by finalizing details and handling paperwork.
The Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association (NETTA), which Johnson County is a member of, already has a similar project running. Johnson County contributed $2,500 to be included in those promotions as well. According to Taylor, those videos advertise some of the local trails, DMRA, the art center, and Heritage Hall Theatre. After counting costs, Mayor Taylor says $2,300 went unused. The committee has decided to use this money to boost these posts on various social media platforms.
Weather delays moved production back a few days from Monday, November 30, until Wednesday, December 2. Germain Media is currently working on a new webpage for the county that is separate from the current local government page as part of this project.
This local government tourism project is still in its beginning phase, but Mayor Taylor expects progress in the next several days. For more information on the local tourism project, contact the Johnson County Mayor’s Office at (423) 727-9696.