Visit Silver City Collateral Marketing Piece

When the Silver City Arts And Cultural District (the agency contracted to handle tourism in this corner of New Mexico) asked to write the copy for the new Visit Silver City collateral marketing book, I was thrilled. There are few things I'd rather write about than our beautiful state and town. I sat down with Silver City Arts And Cultural District Executive Director Callie Kennington and Administrative Assistant Michelle Geels, who had drafted an outline and listed a few attractions they wanted to see listed. With that outline in hand, I worked out a concept and shipped it off for their approval.

I proposed we set the whole booklet up as a narrative inside a narrative so that people can get a feel for Silver City without reading all of the text, just by reading the headlines (which, in this case, are full sentences). I sent of a draft of the so-called headlines alone and explained I would continue writing the blurbs about each topic if they approved this concept.

Callie and Michelle liked the idea of structuring it like a storybook with read-if-you-want-to details and offered a few initial suggestions.

To get an idea of the total word count and the breakdown from page to page, we put filler text into Callie's draft of the layout, which put photography in the limelight as per her vision. (I did some design consulting for this project as well.) With word count guidelines and the go-ahead to keep writing, I then refined the headlines and got to work filling in the spaces between.

After sharing a solid draft with Callie and Michelle at the ACD, they marked it up with notes and met with me again to go over their suggestions and make edits together. There was then a little bit of back and forth as Callie worked with the text on the page and as we got feedback from key community members.

The last stage of the process stalled a bit as Callie was unsure which image to use on the cover. No one photo can adequately depict Silver City, New Mexico's dynamic community. She opted to go with a few photos that showcase some of our area's best assets (the arts culture, the outdoors, Silver City's food scene, and the many free music festivals) and print four different covers. The back page image proved challenging to select, too, due to the postal service's guidelines regarding the orientation of stamps and addresses. The final product features a photo of a geometric mural design that works no matter which way the page is turned--a brilliant solution.

Because I, the writer, got to be involved in every step of this process, I am proud of the final product. It's rare that a freelancer gets to have a say in the production and rarer that a freelancers gets to participate in the editing of her own work, so I'm grateful that the Silver City Arts and Cultural District's staff included me.

The Visit Silver City collateral marketing booklet has received some criticism from local officials, but the assumptions made about some of the text were mistaken. I think this piece does a nice job of marketing many of the wonderful things a traveler might like about our town.