Nicole Mahoney is the host for the Destination on the Left podcast. She is also the CEO of Break The Ice Media, the travel and tourism marketing agency she founded in 2009. Break The Ice Media specializes in working for clients in the travel and tourism industries, through the strategic use of public relations, social media, digital advertising, tourism marketing campaigns, influencer marketing, and video marketing.
Nicole got her start in the business world while attending college when she worked for her father at her family’s car stereo shop. After college, Nicole began working in sports marketing at Frontier Field in Rochester, New York, as the Executive Director of the Lilac Festival. She went on to run promotions for the Canandaigua, New York Business Improvement District and worked on projects for the tourism promotion agency Visit Rochester. With over 20 years of experience in the tourism marketing field, Nicole has truly dedicated herself to the travel and tourism industries throughout her career journey.
On this special 100th episode of Destination on the Left, Nicole discusses why she created the show, building upon the spark of an idea she had all the way back in 2013 while she served as the co-host of an internet radio show. She reflects on Destination on the Left’s past episodes, diverse topics, even more diverse guests, and how the show has evolved over time. She also looks to the future, with exciting plans for the next 100 episodes!
Nicole Mahoney wanted to create a platform to give professionals in the travel and tourism industry a chance to talk about their most creative ideas and share their stories of success. Tourism isn’t recognized as an “official” industry by the federal government, and too often the business leaders and professionals in the field aren’t treated as the industry leaders they are.
That’s why Nicole created Destination on the Left. Through showcasing successful business executives and bright ideas from the world of tourism, Nicole hopes to shine a light on how critical and impactful the travel and tourism industries can be, empowering and strengthening communities all over the world.
Join Nicole as she reflects on one hundred episodes full of amazing guests from all over the country and the world. That’s not to mention the incredibly diverse topics they’ve discussed; topics including regional marketing, influencer marketing, travel PR, digital marketing, grassroots efforts, food tourism, and many others.
And the future of Destination on the Left is equally as bright. This year saw the first podcast roadshow, as well as a five-part series on museums. And there’s so much more planned for the future. Listen and join in on the celebration!
The travel industry is changing all the time. But some things are timeless. The challenge is to meet the evolving needs of clients, but retain all of the standards of good customer experience that are indeed timeless.
On this episode of Destination on the Left, we talk with a true practitioner of this art. Justin Osbon talks with us about his experience with a truly legendary European tour operator, how to thrive as a 3rd generation company, and how to look to the future.
Justin Osbon started with Image Tours as an account executive where he was expected to deal directly with travel agents who were already working with Image Tours as well as prospects and create new relationships with additional travel agents. In 2007, he was promoted to senior account executive where he was in charge of the team of account executives, and in 2009 became sales director covering all aspects of sales for Image Tours, Inc.
During his career, he has volunteered and participated at various associations including the National Tour Association, American Bus Association, as well as others. He was also given the opportunity to mentor some of the collegiate scholarship winners for Tourism Cares. He was voted one of the top travel supplier sales reps in 2010 by readers of Travel Agent magazine. In January of 2014, he was voted top 10 next gen by readers of Group Today magazine. He has also served as NTA’s chairman in 2016 and remains involved with NTA through leadership team committees.
Full show notes available here: https://breaktheicemedia.com/podcasts/justin-osbon/
In a region with a lot of tourism opportunity, sibling rivalry is just part of the dynamic of working together. Even more so with metropolitan areas in close proximity: like the two Kansas Cities, or Dallas/Fort Worth, or my guest’s hometown of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
On this episode of Destination on the Left, Adam Johnson of Visit Saint Paul talks with us about the fun you can have with this sort of friendly rivalry. We talk about working together to bring people to the region. And humor – travel is fun, so having fun in your tourism messaging can really create positive vibes about your destination.
Adam Johnson is vice president of marketing with Visit St. Paul where he is responsible for marketing St. Paul as a meetings and tourism destination, along with developing the company’s social media strategy, media relations plan, and special events planning.
Some events Adam has worked closely on include the 2018 Super Bowl, 2008 Republican National Convention, 2011 and 2018 NCAA Frozen Four, 2011 Visa Championships, the Annual Red Bull Crashed Ice Village, an Annual LuckyPalooza on West 7th Street Party, and the 2016 Rider Cup.
He was the brainchild behind “Hello Minneapolis, Love St. Paul”; the Adele Parody, “Free Beer for Furloughed Government Workers” which highlighted St. Paul’s hospitality community; and he led the team that helped St. Paul be named Most Romantic Getaway in North America and Best Local Food Scene by Ten Best in USA Today.
Adam has a communication’s degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is also a 2006 graduate of the Leadership St. Paul Program through the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the board of the Capital River Council, Minnesota Mississippi River Parkway Commission, Skyway YMCA, St. Paul Festival and Heritage Association, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association, National and Ordway Circle of the Stars.
Adam lives in St. Paul with his wife Emily and infant sons Leo, Otis, and Oscar, and when not working he enjoys watching sports, golfing, and spending time with family.
Full show notes available here: https://breaktheicemedia.com/podcasts/adam-johnson/
Getting influencers and travel writers to pay attention is a great way to showcase what you are offering to the travel and tourism public. Bringing them onsite and having them write about your organization can be a big public relations win. But how do you make the connection? Email and phone calls are hit-or-miss at best, if you haven’t got an established relationship already.
That’s why a tactic called the “desk-side visit” can really break the ice and get you and that writer enthused about working together. On this episode of Destination on the Left, we do a deep dive into the desk-side visit. How do you make it happen? How does it really make a difference in your organization?
Today we are talking to one of the Break The Ice Media team members in a team cast episode, Sarah Blackwell.
Sarah is a consultant and brings knowledge of the public relations industry to her work at Break The Ice, including the ability to write, pitch and tell a great story. Her experience working with journalists and a passion for PR and social media has allowed her to help her clients get great exposure and effectively connect with their target audience. Sarah is a graduate of The College at Brockport Suny with a bachelor of Science and Journalism and Broadcasting, with a concentration in PR and a dual degree in English.
She joined Break the Ice Media in 2013 and brought with her hospitality and marketing experience from internships at Disney, Southwest Airlines, American Cancer Society, and the Susan B Anthony House. Since joining Break The Ice, Sarah leads many of the travel PR clients that the agency serves, including the Haunted History Trail of New York State, Genesee County Office of Tourism, and the Canadian PR program co-op made up of 15 partners. She is very involved with the Public Relations Society of America, Rochester Chapter serving as a board member and co-chairing the PRISM Awards Committee.
Full show notes available here: https://breaktheicemedia.com/podcasts/sarah-blackwell-desk-side-visit/
Why are people interested in traveling to your destination? Finding out the “why” makes marketing more precise and leads to more visitors and ergo, more revenue.
Finding out the “why” gets beyond lumping people into demographic categories. It helps us understand what motivates them and what could potentially motivate them to choose us.
Our guest this episode of Destination on the Left is Susan Baier. Susan is an Audience and Marketing Strategist. She helps organizations figure out what’s going on in the minds of their prospects and customers, and how to use that information to craft targeted efficient and effective marketing programs. Her company, Audience Audit, develops custom attitudinal segmentation research for smart marketing agencies and their clients in a wide range of industries.
She has worked with over 50 agencies and their clients including Gap, Kona Grill, Infusionsoft, Jayco, Tufts University, AT&T, Pella and more. Susan has been a Marketing Strategist for 30 years working in Fortune 500 firms such as Dial and ConocoPhillips as well as in marketing agencies. She has an MBA in marketing and entrepreneurship and has mentored hundreds of small business owners in marketing and audience strategy. Susan regularly speaks at major marketing conferences including Inbound and Content Marketing World. She’s been featured on Jay Baer’s Social Pros Podcast, the Build a Better Agency podcast, and the Duct Tape Marketing podcast.
Full show notes available here: https://breaktheicemedia.com/podcasts/susan-baier/