Thursday, July 23, 2009

Alamo Bickering Delays Innovative PR/Marketing Plans

What do you do when your entire marketing and PR plan suddenly gets axed? That’s what happened recently at the Alamo.

The Alamo’s marketing director, Craig Stinson spoke at our PRSA chapter luncheon in March. He outlined the amazing new initiatives the Alamo board and staff were taking to diversify revenue sources and build relationships with visitors and history buffs. Strategies included becoming accredited by the American Association of Museums, creating a service mark to begin collecting revenue from use of the new Alamo logo, starting a membership program so that fans could pay for special access to events and a newsletter, and stepping up the web site to include more social media features.

But as Scott Huddleston of the San Antonio Express-News detailed on Sunday, the whole thing seemed to go down the drain beginning in May when the Daughters of the Republic of Texas voted for a “delay.” Soon after, Craig resigned. I haven’t spoken to him. There could be other reasons for his departure. But the director, David Stewart, resigned in late May, the shop director retired and some members are taking steps to create their own group.

As a proud San Antonio resident, a fifth-generation Texan and relative of an Alamo survivor, I am really saddened by this news. I can’t help but wonder, will we ever get it back on track? Surely someone can broker the peace. Can the mayor help solve this rift on behalf of the city? Will the state have to step in? How about leaders in our local tourism industry?

After all, the Alamo is the most visited historical site in the state. Its success is our success.

Update: See July 23 story, "‘Renegade' DRT member starts Alamo nonprofit."