Online Forum Set Up To Create Good Buzz For Resort

OCEAN CITY – In an effort to continue with online tourism promotion for the resort town, MGH, Ocean City’s advertising firm, has developed an online forum for positive Ocean City chatter.

InsideOceanCity.com is an online forum that provides information on just about everything Ocean City has to offer, from dining to hotel rooms, with all questions addressed by what MGH refers to as, Ocean City ambassadors.

Ocean City ambassadors, who now consist of 85 to 90 people, were selected last year as a part of the resort’s public relations campaign. All of the applicants were screened and selected based on their experiences in Ocean City, particularly their knowledge of the town.

While the ambassadors are charged with knowing a lot about the resort, none of them live in Ocean City, and come from all over the country, with a wide variety of backgrounds, household incomes, family sizes and so forth. The amount of times the ambassadors have visited Ocean City also varies, from just a few times in a lifetime to multiple visits each summer.

For no monetary gain, the ambassadors are charged with creating positive online chatter about Ocean City, essentially creating a good buzz for the town through the online sector.

In an effort to build upon the role of the ambassadors, MGH created InsideOceanCity.com, an offshoot of the tourism website, morefunhere.com.

At a tourism commission meeting last week, MGH Public Relations Account Director Chris McMurry presented the commission members with the website, explaining the merits of the ambassadors.

“It’s real recommendations from people like you,” said McMurry.

The site consists of biographies on each of the ambassadors, or insiders, as they are referred to on the site, which generally lists each insider’s favorite aspects of Ocean City.

The “submit a question” section allows any interested vacationers the chance to ask questions about the resort town. Questions range from, “where is a good place in Ocean City to get bagels?,” to “what’s the best hotels for families with young children?”

Each of the questions are then answered by the ambassadors, or insiders, who provide their own insight into the happenings in Ocean City.

“If you’re planning a trip to OC, or simply looking for more information about the hottest beach destination on the East Coast then this is the place for you,” reads the website.

While the website provides an “open” forum for Ocean City vacation discussion, negative comments are screened and withheld from the site. According to McMurry, the goal is to keep chatter positive and to avoid making individual businesses suffer from posts.

Commission members pointed out that the website could also be utilized as a research tool for local businesses. Business owners could read posted questions and find out what it is potential vacationers are interested in.

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