Many members join the Association, create a listing on our website and then do nothing else. However, there is so much more that you can do to benefit from membership, often at no additional cost to yourself. Read on…
Your individual listing on our website is your main opportunity to present your business to the public. However, like any advertising it must be regularly maintained to ensure that it is correct, current and really works for you.
- When did you last check it?
- When did you last update it?
- Are your pictures great?
- Is your listing better than that of competitors?
Do look at Check your web page on our members’ website which gives guidance on maintaining your web page.
Do you have the correct type of listing?
Most members start with a silver listing (£120 per year) but you may benefit by upgrading to gold (£250 per year) particularly if there are a lot of listings in your category (eg self-catering). The main additional benefits are premium placement on the website, a free banner advert and promoting special offers. Further details.
Once you have your first web listing, additional ones can be created at a 50% discount. The following are examples where a second listing can be beneficial.
- You have more than one self-catering property.
- You want to list your business in different categories, eg a hotel could be listed as accommodation, a restaurant and a wedding venue.
- You have multiple shops in different locations.
- You own an attraction and an unrelated business, eg a pub, shop or another different attraction.
All members can create special offers at no cost and they form part of your listing. However, if you have a gold listing they show on the special offers page and it is another sales opportunity that is free to use. At present this facility is under used .
These are adverts, separate from your normal web listing that show on the home page and the category pages. Adverts cost from £100 per year and when clicked the user is taken to a location defined by the advertiser, usually the member’s own website, rather than their page on our site. Further details.
The What’s On listing is one of the most popular pages on our website and events can be listed at no cost. If you organise events, you are missing an opportunity if they are not listed. In addition, lots of interesting events attract visitor to the area and they are relevant to residents too.
You don’t have to organise the event yourself, it can be something taking place in your town and village, or even something that you are attending that is relevant to others.
See this page for the details needed and do give up plenty of notice.
Keep in touch
What are we doing?
Our main means of communication with you, our members, is by email. We send out regular email messages to all members or to specific sections of the membership, eg all in Wales or all attractions. We try to restrict the number of emails to key topics but also send out a regular (about every 3 or 4 weeks) newsletter covering minor topics. Old copies of newsletters are available online.
In addition to emails, we sometimes post short-term news on our closed Facebook group.
The members’ website (you are using it now) is another important source of information. Do look at it regularly for information on training courses, offers and discounts, forthcoming meetings and reports on past meetings. You will also find information about membership, managing your web page, details of the Board, facts and figures about tourism in the area and much more.
Tell us your news
Do keep us informed about your business.
- If you send out press releases or newsletters, do ensure that we are on the distribution list.
- Tell us about business developments, any new plans you may have and your successes.
Obviously we like to hear what you are doing, but more importantly we use the information to promote your business and the area in the following ways, all of which are free to you.
- Social Media – see below.
- We have a news page on our website. We are regularly publishing 2 or 3 articles each week and most are news from our members.
- To compile media briefings – see below.
- Inclusion in our consumer newsletter, regularly sent out to potential visitors.
- Inclusion in our regular members’ newsletters – see above.
We hold regular members’ meetings during the quieter times of the year, usually between 4 or 5 per year. Meetings are held at our members’ locations throughout the area, allowing the host member to showcase their business to others. We invite guests to speak on topics that we hope will be relevant and of interest. Perhaps the best aspect of our meetings is that they allow members to meet and network with others.
Please follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook. If you have your own pages, please send us the details so that we can connect. Please do use the #deanwye hashtag and where possible link to our destination Facebook page in your posts so that we can see you and share. If you are not active on social media, please do let us know as we offer a number of training events across the year, which will help you to get started and get the most from our additional online presence. Social Media and digital marketing are very important parts of the modern marketing mix and a great way to get your business promoted. Remember, we can’t share your social media stories if we don’t know about them so always use the hashtag #deanwye on Twitter and link to our destination Facebook page on Facebook posts
We have a closed Facebook group specifically for members where you can discuss issues, ask for help as well as support each other in our collected aim to make our region one of the top UK tourist destinations. You will need to request to join this and we will accept you as a member Further details. If you have any problems with this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org who will be delighted to help you.
We want to get your stories out to the press, online and on our website and blogs. If you have exciting things happening with your business (awards, major expansions/developments, media activity, events) please do tell us. We will use this in our promotions, and we will be in touch via our regular members emails to give you information on further opportunities. The more you can tell us what is happening with your business the better we can promote you and the region. If you use your own PR company please ask them to copy us in on any press releases or stories they are promoting for you. Pass on any PR stories to email@example.com
We have regular contact with the media and also get requests for filming, radio interviews etc but please also let us know if you are involved with any similar media work with your business. This will allow us to help promote any media interaction you get through our channels and helps us build a bigger picture of how much media interest there is in the region. We will always respect embargos from large productions or press releases etc, but if we know what is happening in advance of breaking news we can plan our media response accordingly. For media news/queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consumer Newsletter and competition prizes
Our consumer newsletter goes out each month to subscribers and we are always looking for competition prizes or offers for potential inclusion. We can’t guarantee that your offer will get in a specific newsletter but by offering prizes in advance we can plan a schedule. We also are always on the lookout for smaller social media competition prizes too so drop a line to email@example.com.
Although the bulk of our advertising is now digital, we do still publish two annual guides in which members can pay for advertising.
- The Visitor Guide is an A4 publication which is compiled during the autumn and published around Christmas. Members will normally be invited to advertise at the beginning of September.
- The Days Out Guide is a DL-sized leaflet packed with ideas for a perfect day out including attractions, activities, shops and places to eat and drink. This is normally published at the start of the summer season and members will be sent details about advertising during the spring.
We host a large picture library containing over 4000 images of the area. These are scenes of popular places, things to do, food and drink, and also cover our heritage, flora and fauna. All of the picture are free to use for your websites, social media and publications. We only ask that credit is attributed to the photographer (where known) or to Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism. Low resolution images can be downloaded, or if you need higher resolution for printed media, we can supply them.
We use a large number of images our self for the website, social media and guides and are always looking for good quality pictures. Why not contribute pictures of your business, your town or village or your favourite spot or activity. It helps us, other members and can be another source of free advertising.
During the winter months we regularly organise training courses that we think will be of interest to members.
- Look out for details in our emails or on our website.
- Do tell us what training we should provide.
On our website we publish annual reports about tourism in the area; these contain figures about visitor numbers and the economic impact of tourism. These reports are compiled from statistics provided by members on how well their business is performing, eg visitor numbers. Each month we send out, by email and Facebook, a link to enter your figures for the previous month. Please do use send in your data as without it, it is difficult to gauge how well tourism is performing.
When you submit your data you will be sent a link to for the previous months figures. Do you really know how well you your business is performing? Are numbers up or down? Look at these figures to understand how similar businesses to yours are performing across the area and understand how you compare with others.
Recruit new members
Our main source of income are our membership fees and we need to continually recruit new members to survive and to promote the area further. Like all similar organisations, the best source of new members is the existing membership. If you know other businesses that you think would benefit from membership, please tell us.
Do look for other businesses in your town or village. Somewhere that has lots of shop, places to eat and drink, and things to do listed will seem more interesting to visitors and somewhere that they want to stay.
If you directly recruit new members, we will pay you 25% of their first year’s membership fees.
Share your ideas
Although we hope that we are working to promote the area and your businesses, and that our website, social media and advertising is attractive, useful and welcoming to visitors, there is always more that we can do. However, we don’t have the monopoly of good ideas, so do tell us yours. How can the website be improved? Do you have a great idea for a campaign? Are there any anniversaries, or local personalities to celebrate? Is our advertising working? Are we missing major events? What more can we do?
Join the board
The Association has a very small number of employed staff; one full time and two part time. Much of the direction of the Association comes from our volunteer board of directors who are all unpaid and give up their time as well as run their own businesses. Each year before our AGM we invite members to stand for election to join the board. Do consider doing this as we are always looking for members to contribute fresh ideas.