Wisconsin looking to increase tourism PR spending

MADISON, WI: Wisconsin's governor is asking his state legislature to approve an additional $250,000 in tourism PR spending over the next two years.

MADISON, WI: Wisconsin's governor is asking his state legislature to approve an additional $250,000 in tourism PR spending over the next two years.

Governor Jim Doyle made his request for higher spending at a Madison press conference February 2. The Democrat also used his the opportunity to debut a new slogan for the state's tourism effort, "Wisconsin - Life's So Good" grew out of consumer focus group feedback.

Jerry Huffman, communications director for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, said the slogan grew out of a number of focus groups.

"They have such powerful memories of Wisconsin. It took them back to a stage when life was good," Huffman said of the focus group participants. The slogan replaces "Stay Just A Little Bit Longer."

State tourism PR efforts are focused on neighboring markets Chicago and Minneapolis, as well as in the state itself, owing to the large percentage of Wisconsin residents who vacation in other parts of the state.

Milwaukee-based Boelter & Lincoln Marketing Communications handles advertising and PR for the tourism department. The department also works with Creative Marketing Resources, Milwaukee, on multicultural marketing efforts.

The additional funds are part of the governor's request for an overall increase in the Wisconsin Department of Tourism budget, to $25.6 million over two years. That represents a $3.8 million increase (Wisconsin traditionally adopts two-year budgets).

The department has spent about $600,000 a year under its current budget on tourism-related PR, said Huffman.

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