Visitor’s Bureau would do well to think outside the box
by Dick Yarbrough
Columnist
July 19, 2013 10:32 PM | 1255 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough
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FLASH: This just in from the Marietta Convention and Visitors Bureau to the offices of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Ga., and forwarded to me by Junior E. Lee, the company’s general manager and a certified pest control professional:

“There will be a called meeting of the Marietta CVB Board of Directors on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. at The CVB Welcome Center, 4 Depot St., Marietta, GA 30060. The purpose of the meeting is to select a new executive director for the Marietta CVB. Pertinent materials are available for public viewing at the CVB on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.”

Junior said he was too busy trying to get the deer flies out of Arveen Ridley’s barn to give this much thought but felt the information would be of interest to me. As usual, Junior E. Lee was correct. That is what makes him so respected among his colleagues in the media and pest control game. He has impeccable judgment.

I told Junior that it was only last week that I was fussing about never hearing from the folks at the Marietta Convention and Visitors Bureau and now I have heard from them twice in a week.

Before Junior’s call, I had received an email from Dempsey Kirk, president of the board of the Marietta Convention and Visitors Bureau in response to my comments in last Saturday’s MDJ. It was a nice note, but reading between the lines, I think Mr. Kirk is as frustrated with the controversy that has been kicked up over the selection of a replacement for longtime director, Theresa Jenkins, as Junior E. Lee is with his inability to rid Arveen Ridley’s place of deer flies.

I said in this space last week that I have never had a single contact initiated by his organization. Mr. Kirk wrote that the staff routinely sends news releases to several people at the MDJ and named them all. I double-checked to see if my name was among them. Alas, it was not. Maybe that is why I have never heard from anybody at the MCVB. Maybe they assume I am going to snoop around my colleagues’ desks, looking at their news releases. Maybe the MCVB has even less media relations moxie than I thought.

He states also that all of the events his group sponsors are advertised in the newspaper. That’s a good point, but I don’t think there was much notice given to the hiring of a new director responsible for those events.

Mr. Kirk says, “Regarding the selection of the new director, to my knowledge, there has been no attempt to do anything behind closed doors other than to protect the privacy of applicants until the field has been narrowed, as is permitted by the Open Records Act. I question the motive of anyone who would make such a statement and wonder where they received their information.”

I’m not sure if Mr. Kirk is talking about me or about somebody else, but Junior said not to let it bother me. He said politicians have said lots worse things about me than that. He’s right, of course.

I have heard from several people in the community who felt the skids were being greased for a particular candidate close to the outgoing director and that an email vote to select that candidate was being considered until the recent spotlight on the selection process. If that is incorrect, I thank Mr. Kirk for clearing that up for me.

Mr. Kirk winds up his note saying, “I am afraid that there is a misconception among some of the merchants that we are responsible for local marketing and advertising. While we promote local business through our website, mobile app, social media, and print material, our primary focus is on the out of town visitor.”

I would suggest Job One for the new executive director would be clearing up that misconception with the local merchants.

I was glad to hear from Mr. Kirk. Hopefully, the MCVB will turn the page on what has been a clumsy attempt to hire a new executive director and the needless controversy that has occurred as a result.

I asked Junior E. Lee if he thought this might be the case. Junior said he would let me worry about that but to tell everyone involved that he would be happy to come up and give them a cut-rate price on spraying for termites. Say what you will about Junior E. Lee, but he is always thinking outside the box. The Marietta Convention and Visitors Bureau might want to do the same.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.
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