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After COVID-19: do we want to go back to “normal”?
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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Media guys offer support

28 Jan 2020

Media guys offer support Image

Ever since the bushfires hit, people in unaffected areas have been figuring out ways of helping those in suffering communities.

Rus Littleson runs a media company in Docklands, specialising in managing photographic libraries.

Last week he read that tourism to rural areas in Victoria had dropped by 10- 20 per cent.

“The United States put out advice: don’t go to Australia. Sydney’s on fire. It’s not true. They had to reverse that damage,” Mr Littleson said.

The problem is that tourists, both international and local, have been put off visiting areas that are nowhere near the bushfires.

“If you’re realistic about this. Tourism across Victoria is suffering because of Gippsland.”

After talking to his mate Craig Harris from an online marketing company, they came up with a plan.

XL.Today is a professional marketing tool that helps a business design a digital campaign in a minute and access five different channels in social media in five minutes.

Users fill in a few tabs, upload photographs and play around with the parameters in their customer base. They don’t have to log in separately to each of the media.

Usually a subscription costs US$520 a month but the media guys are offering a year’s free use of the product to any small tourism business in Victoria and New South Wales to help them overcome the bushfire effect.

“We’ve done it before in Japan,” Mr Littleson said. He travelled to Sendai a year after the tsunami and offered the product to businesses in unaffected parts of the town to help them rebuild.

“It did have an effect. It was a good thing to do,” he said. “In Japan corporate civic responsibility is a huge part of business.”

XL.Today is an attractive product that promises to add a creative touch to the recovery efforts of tourism providers such as caravan parks, tourism authorities and restaurants.

Users can send a special message using a formula to access email, SMS, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, with the choice of uploading up to 50 photographs.

“A restaurant can send out a message they have a seafood special on this Sunday,” Mr Littleson said.

“You can divide up customers and leverage information from the mailing list. You can send it to everyone or make it age-based, for a roast dinner for example. You can use it to collect more information on customers. How much did they spend on the meal?”

Such tools were used a lot by retailers and those in the experience sector, he said.

Mr Littleson’s company Media Equation manages an image bank for Tourism Victoria. The permissions are recorded within a program, enabling users to keep track of photographs.

Those keen to apply for support can access the program at XL.Today. The offer includes all phone support.

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