Full disclosure here: I'm on the Board of Directors of the Brandcenter at VCU
(Virginia Commonwealth University)
But even if I wasn't on the Board, I'd still be writing about a new campaign co-created by the students at the VCU Brandcenter in conjunction with Richmond Region Tourism to promote tourism in the city of Richmond, Virginia.
A certain kind of tourism: LGBT visitors.
It's called OutRVA.
In essence, the city is "coming out," and declaring itself welcoming and gay-friendly, something you may not assume to be true coming from a southern state like Virginia where same sex marriage has not yet been accepted.
Timed with its annual Pridefest this week, OutRVA is a fully integrated campaign that will not only blanket local businesses, but other cities where LGBT travelers are looking for places to visit.
I personally admire how the campaign basically mirrors how a person may personally come out, except in this case it's a city that is proudly declaring, "I'm gay." I admire "anyone" who has the courage to come out!
What I love most, and admittedly I am biased, is that the campaign was created by a community of creative students, aligning with their greater community, to breed new life into a city that is having a new renaissance. It's a great place to visit, and it's time to come Out!
The fact that the students are becoming a part of the city's revival, with an "audience" that is also going through its own cultural renaissance is quite inspiring.
And of course the creative is great too! Kudos to the students and faculty of the VCU Brandcenter!
What's your experience? JIM