It occurred to me that neither the core competency at the center of today’s community/destination marketing organizations (DMOs) nor even its terminology existed 40 years ago even in terminology when I began my recently-concluded career in that field.
Some DMOs, even though the concept has been evolving for over 11 decades now, are still obsessed with convention sales and yet even they require more than a smidgeon of this competency so critical to much more holistic and contemporary DMOs, especially those such as the one in Durham, NC, that have led the way in accreditation to the highest standards and best practices.
Unfortunately, this core competency receives far too little, if any, emphasis in most business degree programs including schools specializing in hospitality degrees and very rarely does it appear in continuing education programs or on the agenda for annual meetings of related associations.
Graduate schools that teach this core competency exist in only 52 universities in the nation and one of these is is an historical black university where it first appeared in the name in 1984, at North Carolina Central University. This, coincidentally occurred shortly after it was put at the center of the strategic direction at the DMO I then managed in Anchorage, Alaska.
This core competency that can make or break the success of any DMO today is the ability to:
- Create databases to store information
- Perpetually populate and update these databases in real time
- Make this information readily accessible on any platform including the worldwide web
- Make this information retrievable on demand and
- Make it retrievable as infographics.
Having skills such as these enables people with degrees in library and information sciences to have such a wide range of career choices today including in DMOs.
For information on how folks from the academic side are training people in this core competency, click here and wait for the Fall Issue of NCCU Now to download, then go to page 37.
Located where I live in Durham, North Carolina, NCCU is a hundred-year-old institution, one of the 17 campuses in University of North Carolina System and the first publicly-funded liberal arts college for African Americans in the nation. Library studies, later to include information sciences, began there in 1939, second as a professional school behind the law.
Today it the study of library and information sciences thrives as essential part of the curriculum even to those in NCCU’s new doctorate program in integrated Biosciences but to none is it more essential than to those pursuing a career in community/destination marketing and visitor-centric cultural and economic development.