Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nothing Like A Thorough Top-To-Bottom Diagnostic

People who second guess their community’s destination marketing organization (DMO) may not care because the motive is usually either to secure special benefit or to appear smarter.

For any who do care, they really only need to ask one question.DMAI_Accredited

Has the official DMO working on behalf of my community earned full accreditation to the best practices and highest standards of community marketing?

Only one in every ten in North America are accredited including the nine just added to that list including the DMO in Asheville, North Carolina bringing to six the number in this state to earn the distinction.

The DMO for Durham, North Carolina was among the first in the state and the first two dozen in North America to earn accreditation four years ago and now becomes one of the first three of ten worldwide to earn re-accreditation and with an unprecedented 12 exemplary citations.

Accreditation is a rigorous, top-to-bottom diagnostic involving 53 mandatory and 29 voluntary areas of community marketing. Re-accreditation involves an additional 21 mandatory and 1 voluntary.

Durham can be very proud of and happy for my former colleagues including the governing board of that organization, now chaired by friend and former long-time State Senator, Wib Gulley who was just completing his two terms as Mayor of Durham when I was recruited here more than two decades ago to help jump-start Durham’s first-ever community marketing organization.

My private-sector friends are usually incredulous that any organization would voluntarily elect to undergo a thorough diagnostic like accreditation to best practices and standards. It is a real achievement and one in which Durham can truly celebrate as another reason to believe this is “where great things happen.”

Unfortunately the organization responsible for visitor-centric economic and cultural development remains the only economic development organization in Durham that has undergone the scrutiny of an accreditation diagnostic.

Each of the others are sincerely encouraged to pursue accreditation and if one isn’t available to work hard to establish one as credible as the one for DMOs. Without a doubt, accreditation is the most significant professional enhancement in my four decades in that field and possibly over the entire 115 year span since the first DMO was established.

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