The Wrightsville Beach Marketing Advisory Committee passed a recommendation of its fiscal year 2014-15 budget on Tuesday, June 10, which reflected an overall increase of 1.35 percent from the 2013-14 budget. Marketing funds are supported by a percentage of room occupancy tax collections.
Totaling $449,883, the budget consists of funding for the town’s multi-platform marketing campaign for the year that will tie into the overall countywide campaign from the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority.
The largest portion of the budget is the advertising, media and services category with $401,154 of the budgetary funds. One of the many ways the budget is similar to the fiscal year 2013-14 budget is an online advertising focus at $163,526. Much smaller portions are allocated to print and television ad placements at $28,468 and $23,884, respectively.
Also included in the advertising budget is $3,638 for a Charlotte-area billboard.
While much of the budget was not changed during the marketing committee’s Tuesday meeting, funding of the TripAdvisor campaign was relocated to a reserve fund.
Blockade Runner Beach Resort General Manager Nicolas Montoya said he would rather the $14,550 be set aside for reserves than fund the management of the Wrightsville Beach TripAdvisor webpage.
A consensus of the other committee members agreed with Montoya’s suggestion to move the funds and continue a discussion about the subject.
Line items funding advertisement on WRAL.com and management of the Wrightsville Beach YouTube page were reduced.
The marketing committee unanimously passed a recommendation of the fiscal year 2014-15 budget, which will be presented to the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen on Thursday, June 12.
Following the budgetary discussion, several members of the committee inquired about using a YouTube video shot by local photographer Ned Leary around Wrightsville Beach using the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
Both Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens and New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority Vice President of Marketing Shawn Braden said they would like to post the video on the government and tourism websites but were unsure as to whether Leary had secured the rights to use the song.