Increase Accessibility to Information about Town Events
This one should be a no brainer. The single most important thing the town can do to promote our local economy is to make it easy to find out about our town and what is happening week to week.
The first step, of course, is to have a dedicated website to promote our town. This is not exactly a hard or expensive thing to do (though, of course, additional investment usually helps). The website that you are currently reading costs less than 200 dollars a year and I have designed everything on it without knowing two things about web design.
So connected to our barely functioning city government website, we should have a site dedicated to our local attractions. And it should be updated weekly, if not more frequently.
Having established a base line infrastructure between our businesses and attractions, we must use both the website, our local chamber of commerce and other advertising avenues to identify what is happening in Ocean Springs week to week.
Businesses who want to participate can forward their weekly events to be listed on the website, with the understanding that the city's role is primarily as informer rather than promoter i.e. tell us what is happening and we will list it as part and parcel of our categorized attractions.
And, of course, some of our local attractions will have set, standard informational pages, presenting base line facts/selling points for interested travelers. For example, Fort Maurepas base line appeal is its historical significance just as the Walter Anderson's base line appeal is in the art work of Walter Anderson. Therefore, it should be easy to quickly learn why these attractions are important in one location.
From there, we will have to utilize SEO techniques, Facebook, instagram, google ads and public promotion to bring traffic to the website.
The purpose of all of this is to have one attractive, accessible location to explore all Ocean Springs has to offer. From there, we will break down and utilize targeted advertising to sell our city to specific consumers based on their tastes.
Of course, online presence is not the only manner by which we should expand accessibility of information. It is just the most glaring and fixable inadequacy at the moment. We also will need to work with the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, the casinos, billboards etc. to advertise what is actually happening in our city.