Destination and Lifestyle Marketing
Advertising and General Promotion
From the outset of the Pennsylvania Wilds movement in the early 2000s, the initiative sought to promote the 12.5-county region as a premier outdoor recreation destination, complete with various natural and historic assets to keep visitors intrigued throughout their journey. This meant the region was being marketed as a lifestyle to people throughout the state and beyond — with a goal of stimulating local economies with the influx of outside dollars being spent by travelers in the region. Brochures and maps were developed, printed and distributed; ads were taken out in top markets on the east coast; and TV spots showcased our region’s top destinations.
Learn more about the history of the PA Wilds movement at www.pawildscenter.org/history-of-the-pa-wilds/.
The PA Wilds Center continues lifestyle marketing efforts today. We promote small businesses and the region as a whole through our online platforms — from Facebook and Instagram to our three websites — and we also are involved with strategic paid advertising campaigns.
In 2016, PA Wilds Center was awarded a generous grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to reboot regional marketing and build a sustainable framework around it. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania (WCO) describes the value chain network managed by the PA Wilds Center, and it is just one piece of the entrepreneurial ecosystem designed to help create family-sustaining jobs and grow small businesses and amenities to make our rural region even more competitive. Comprised of creative makers and regional entrepreneurs, as well as local, state and federal partners, the ecosystem is tied to the region’s growing destination and lifestyle brand and includes a trademarked brand (the PA Wilds logo); brand licensing and product development; an omni-channel retail model called the PA Wilds Conservation Shops, which sell products and services from the value chain; regional marketing; business development tools and mentoring for businesses; and stewardship of the natural assets that provide the unique opportunities central to our place-based brand.
The PA Wilds Center manages four websites:
- www.pawildscenter.org (about our organization and programs),
- www.pawilds.com (our traveler-oriented site),
- www.wildscopa.org (our business network site which includes a directory of regional state parks, artisans, and places of interest), and
- www.shopthepawilds.com (our online PA Wilds Conservation Shop).
We also manage Facebook and Instagram pages for @thepawilds and @wildscooperativeofpa.
The Wilds Cooperative of PA Buyer’s Guide
The PA Wilds Center each year produces the Wilds Cooperative of PA Buyers Guide, which outlines professional level creative makers and producers from our region, as well as retail locations where locally-made products can be purchased. The goal of this publication — available for free via digital download — is to connect consumers to locally-made products, be it straight from the makers themselves or local retail outlets.
Download the Buyer’s Guide for free at wildscopa.org/member-tools.
The PA Wilds Outdoor Discovery Atlas
It’s been nearly a decade since the production of the Pennsylvania Wilds Outdoor Discovery Map, a free brochure/map designed to help visitors navigate our rural region. Two versions were printed prior to 2010 (pictured at right), but many things have changed on the ground since.
That’s why the PA Wilds Center embarked on developing an updated atlas in late 2018. Design began in early 2019, and the PA Wilds Outdoor Discovery Atlas: First Edition was printed in fall 2020. This 50+ page guide that serves as a companion to pawilds.com provides travel tips, ideas on things to see and do throughout the region, and navigable maps. A rural region that is comparable to states such as Massachusetts and Vermont in landmass deserves a book of maps. You can purchase a copy at either of the PA Wilds Conservation Shops (at Kinzua Bridge State Park and Leonard Harrison State Park), other state parks and recreation areas, and on the PA Wilds Marketplace online.
The PA Wilds Are Calling
The publishing platform tied to the online home for the PA Wilds (www.pawilds.com), The PA Wilds Are Calling is a blog that features spotlights on regional businesses, artisans and communities; personal narratives and guides to outdoor adventures; pieces on regional heritage and culture; and much more!
Much of the content is derived from PA Wilds residents with a passion for the region and an expertise they want to share.
PA Wilds Center is proud to partner with the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry to re-publish selected columns from their “Forest Fridays” e-newsletter.
We welcome content ideas and collaborations. Skip down to the “HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT” section to learn more about our WildSPEAK program.
Check out the PA Wilds Are Calling at www.pawilds.com/blog.
In early summer 2018, the Center launched the first paid advertising campaign the region has seen in nearly a decade. We are working with small businesses on the ground to help them build up capacity to meet visitor demands and helping to promote their businesses by tying them to the natural and historic assets visitors come to enjoy!
HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT
Looking to tie your business to the PA Wilds brand?
- Join the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania!
- Take advantage of our brand Licensing and Product Development services!
If you own a small business in the Pennsylvania Wilds that serves the traveling public — or if you’re a creative maker or producer looking to get your products to new markets — look into the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania (WCO). The WCO program assists businesses with marketing and branding tools, access to new markets, education and networking opportunities with similar kinds of businesses, and referrals to PA’s service provider network (lenders, technical providers, etc.).
Looking for a product or service?
- Source your next great find (or inventory!) from the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania!
If you are a consumer or a retailer looking for a regionally-made product or service or a fun new adventure, be sure to check out the WCO value chain. From visual, food and craft artisans to creative industries partners, unique establishments and community partners, the WCO membership offers a variety of skills, services and experiences.
Do you want to help us tell the full story of the Pennsylvania Wilds?
Volunteer members of our Civilian Storyteller Corps, WildSPEAK, share Stories of Personal Experience And Knowledge. The Pennsylvania Wilds is a world class destination for nature and heritage recreation and the communities that serve the region have unique traditions and cultural activities that rival some of the most popular events in the country. The WildSPEAK program gives residents and visitors alike an opportunity to honor the local way of life by sharing their own personal stories about experiences in and knowledge of the region.
Learn more about the program at www.pawilds.com/wildspeak.