Wednesday November 30, 2011

LENOX -- Three months late, the town's new tourism website was launched this week, but several members of the committee overseeing the public relations and advertising efforts of Bodden Hamilton Partners in New York City still consider it a work in progress.

The DiscoverLenox.com site's home page, featuring a summertime shot of the porch at Lenox Coffee -- a gathering place for residents and visitors -- prominently touts the town's advertising slogan, "Lenoxology."

It states: "Lenoxology is a way of experiencing life at its most relaxing and stimulating, resulting in a deep refreshment of the spirit and feelings of being ‘more alive.' This unique experience can only be had in a visit to Lenox, Massachusetts, in the heart of the Berkshires, with its incomparable mix of history, nature, arts and hospitality."

Marketing and Events Committee Chairman Kimberly Flynn was in Manhattan on Tuesday meeting with Bodden Hamilton officials in advance of a Thursday committee session and conference call to review the site and suggest further tweaks and improvements.

Currently, the home page links to existing Berkshire Chamber of Commerce pages listing lodging and dining establishments as well as upcoming events.

It also links to the municipal website.


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"Within two or three months, visitors to the Discover Lenox site will seamlessly stream from one to another," said tourism consultant Eiran Gazit, an alternate member of the Marketing and Events Committee, which meets Thursday morning at 9 at Town Hall. He said all three websites were intended to complement each other.

Committee member Richard Wise, a 30-year gemologist and business owner in town, said he favors the basic concept of DiscoverLenox.com with its "more evocative categories and more interesting ways of organizing a website for people who want to go on vacation and have a good time. It looks nice and contemporary."

But, he asked, "Why did it take three months?"

At the Thursday meeting, he plans to ask Bodden Hamilton officials whether other aspects of the multi-phase marketing campaign will be completed on time.

Bodden Hamilton's one-year, $56,000 contract with the town expires in March.

The new website links to a just-launched YouTube Lenox channel that offers a one-minute video shot downtown last Jan. 12 after one of the winter's most formidable snowstorms, as well as links to clips of Tanglewood and James Taylor.

It also links to a new Twitter feed, as well as a photostream on flickr.com and a Facebook page in development.

Wise said he is "on board" with the "Lenoxology" slogan.

"It's an advertising slogan, not a belvedere," he said. "If it works, it's a good slogan. If not, we'll change it and come up with another one next year. Let's try it out. But the campaign is not dependent on ‘Lenoxology.' It's a very small portion of what's going on. I don't know why people have been so upset about it."

To reach Clarence Fanto:
cfanto@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6247.