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Food for Thought About Promoting Tombstone AZ
The Fate of the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce (Oct 19, 2019)

Food for Thought About Promoting Tombstone AZ - The Fate of the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce
Food for thought: As a reminder to everyone, the Professional Services Agreement for the promotions for the Community of Tombstone tied the City of Tombstone together in partnership with the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce. This partnership was formed largely because who knows Tombstone AZ better than those that have personal and business stake in the community of Tombstone. These two entities came together well before many of our board members or current city council members were in the positions they are in now.
Each year the Tombstone Chamber Board submits a budget to be reviewed and approved by the city council. In past years, the Chamber has had workshops with past city council members. The Chamber has offered on several occasions, to meet and discuss concerns and recommendations for promoting Tombstone with the current City Council, however, that has never happened. The fact that we as stakeholders haven’t meet does not negate the fact that there has been communication between City Council representatives and the Chamber board representatives, and that up to this point neither entity has been uncooperative or unapproachable.
In that the Chamber has provided the City of Tombstone not only management services but a marketing program in a cohesive and multi-faceted promotional plan, not just some advertising. The promotion of Tombstone is more than general event knowledge or a single destination information project; it doesn’t fit on one or even a dozen ad spaces. Promotion extends into multimedia ad space that reaches into the areas all over the world, as well as, in regional areas where we know people love and choose to visit Tombstone. Of course it’s important to promote Tombstone to people that may not recognize that Tombstone Arizona is a real place or that Tombstone Arizona is within driving distance from a scheduled vacation therefore we also advertise in places like Arizona airports, hotels, visitor centers and again, on-line and let’s not forget to mention multi-generational marketing aspect, it’s not just the “where” but the “who” when talking about promoting Tombstone Arizona.
On a large scale, the personal attention the Chamber uses to implement advertising is invaluable not only thru detailed knowledge of Tombstone itself but from the partnerships with companies and professional outside of town. On a smaller scale, but just as important, our Chamber office is continuously promoting Tombstone addressing questions and concerns thru the 1000’s of phone, email and personal message requests. These live contacts, with real people, engage with potential visitors with local knowledge and specific feedback.
The promotional direction the Chamber had chosen to implement over the years is a result of research and consultation with other Chambers, cities, businesses and partners who have offered insight and recommendations on how to proceed...Not to say that the Tombstone Chamber promotional plan is the only way, and that is why Chamber personnel and advertising partners are continually monitoring and adjusting to make each exposure better and more effective than the last which can be seen in our annual advertising / media report which reflects continual growth, reach and impact touching millions of potential visitors - and it’s also reflected in the growth of the overall tax revenue.
The Chamber’s promotional plan is well thought out and executed…Even with the cut in available funding over the past few years, we have tangible marketing products and credible data to show and back up the impact that the Chamber’s efforts has had for the Community of Tombstone. Now there is an effort to outsource the marketing/promotion of the Tombstone Community to a Phoenix based Reputation Management Company, (which by definition is different than marketing/advertising/promotion) which should be concerning to the businesses and events who rely on not only the advertising outreach but the personal touch of the Chamber promotions. As your volunteer Chamber board, we would hope that a potential decision by the City Council of Tombstone for the removal of that the last amount of funding available ($4500.00/month part of the city’s bed tax revenue), is not on the table as well, as it will leave your local Tombstone Chamber of Commerce virtually without funding.
Thank you!
Susan Wallace,
Tombstone Chamber of Commerce