Sunday, January 9, 2011

Telling Nebraska's Story: The Big Boys

If you are here reading this blog, and have followed me for any length of time at all, you know that what I live to do is to tell Nebraska's story. I'm not alone in this, and today I want to tell you about some others who are doing an awesome job telling Nebraska's story.

First off, I'm going to start with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These are the folks responsible for NebraskaLand Magazine, which has been telling Nebraska's story in words and pictures since 1926. Possibly second to only Arizona Highways, NebraskaLand Magazine is one of the most popular state magazines. While it generally focuses on some aspect of hunting, fishing or other outdoor endeavor, you occasionally get a tourism article. If it has anything to do with enjoying Nebraska's outdoors - hunting, fishing, hiking, water sports, star gazing, bicycling and more - you'll find it promoted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Online, we are fortunate enough to have not one, but FIVE blogs to read from them. First, there is Afield and Afloat:
Through Afield and Afloat, the magazine staff hopes to share some of its experiences in Nebraska’s great outdoors (both good and bad!), teach you a little bit about what goes into producing the magazine and offer the occasional photo tip, ideas on where to go and what to do outside, and other random thoughts and ideas as they pop into our brains.
Then there's Barbs and Backlashes, written by Daryl Bauer:

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 20 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager.

Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 70 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 13 different species and holds more than 20 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species.

He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, so if you have a question, e-mail Daryl.

Daryl's e-mail address: daryl.bauer@nebraska.gov

Next comes In The Wild:
Greg Wagner serves as the public information officer in the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Omaha Office. On a weekly basis, you can catch him with various broadcast, print, social, or electronic media outlets creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska.

Greg's e-mail address: greg.wagner@nebraska.gov
Rounding out the offerings is Lock, Stock and Bedlam:
Aaron Hershberger and Jeff Rawlinson share straight forward and timely information on hunting, fishing, shooting skills, techniques, tips, and worldly insights. You also can catch Aaron and Jeff on their weekly radio show...Nebraska Outdoors, every Thursday evening from 6-7 p.m. on KFOR 140 AM.
They also share via their Facebook page, where they post all of their blog posts, plus other goodies like lake stocking and fishing reports. The Game and Parks Commission is also using Twitter. They have also taken advantage of the technology available on YouTube. From Public Service Announcements, State Parks, Outdoor Nebraska to just general uploads, you'll find a lot about Nebraska that you might not have known before. It's great to see such a venerable organization embracing the new social media to get the message out.

Besides all that they do to tell Nebraska's story, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is charged with making sure we have a story to tell. They manage all of our state parks, wildlife management areas and recreation areas, all of our hunting and fishing and wildlife populations. They are also responsible for all of our State Historical Parks: Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park, Ash Hollow State Historical Park , Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, Bowring Ranch State Historical Park, Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, Champion Mill State Historical Park, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, Fort Hartsuff State Historical Park, Fort Kearny State Historical Park, Rock Creek Station State Historical Park.

Being a tourism professional wouldn't be nearly as much fun without all of the resources managed by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

While they don't use social media very well, I couldn't write a blog post about telling Nebraska's story without mentioning Nebraska Life Magazine. Wow! If you are interested at all in Nebraska, you need to get a subscription to Nebraska Life. You can find them on Facebook, where they'll give you little teasers to entice you to pick up a copy. In six issues a year, and plenty of special publications, Nebraska Life explores all of the nooks and crannies of Nebraska, bringing you incredible stories of our people and places.

Professionals helping to tell the story of our great state are the folks over at the Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

The Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism exists solely to promote Tourism in Nebraska. They do this by partnering with our advertising agency, Snitily Carr, to create incridible marketing programs, and a myriad of other activities: Tourism Marketing Grants, Economic Impact Studies, the annual Nebraska Travel Guide, attending countless travel and trade shows each year, the Nebraska Passport program and Geopicting. They also use podcasts, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and publish a regular e-newsletter to tell Nebraska's story.

This single blog post is way too inadequate to list everything that they do for our great state.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (the parent governmental agency of the Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism) is responsible for much more than telling Nebraska's story, although they do that well. The dedicated and talented staff is responsible for the economic well being of the citizens of our state. I highly recommend a visit to their website, subscribing to their Twitter feed, or their Facebook page to keep abreast of all that they do.

So this first blog post in the "Telling Nebraska's Story" series focuses on the heavy hitters. Next time, we'll explore the coalitions - those regional groups who have banded together to better tell their area's story.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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