Special Reports

April 25, 2013

Pitching the Vista to the national media

Kim Jamieson sells Columbia.

Kim Jamieson sells Columbia.

She spent months pitching story ideas to an editor for Southern Living, finally landing a full-page article on Devine Street shopping.

She ferried a Chicago freelance reporter around for a couple of days, planning her entire itinerary – down to a tour of the Adluh Flour Co.

And she submitted an entry for a well-read blog after noticing that Columbia was not listed among desirable S.C. destinations.

Jamieson promotes local events, restaurants, attractions and history in her media relations job with the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism. Her work helps attract people to the Vista, filling its six hotels and 839 guest rooms.

“There’s so much to do in Columbia. You just have to go out and explore,” said Jamieson, 29, a Greenville native and USC grad.

The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, where she works, is a one-block walk from more than 50 destinations. Eight years after opening, promoters are saying the Lincoln Street center – which has run at a profit for three years – must expand to compete. It drew 147,107 visitors last year.

Jamieson not only works in the Vista, she socializes there, too, making it her business to know all its nooks and crannies.

She loves a good cocktail – at Colas, Motor Supply Co., the Oak Table and upstairs at Pearlz – and has a habit of photographing her favorite food and drink orders.

A lifelong tennis player, Jamieson said she likes the gamesmanship of getting a good story placed in a good publication. She may travel to a half-dozen cities a year to meet with people about travel features. Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York and Birmingham, Ala., were among her destinations last year.

Though it’s impossible to measure the value of media attention, Jamieson knows it draws people to town. After the article ran in Southern Living, she said, she heard from a retailer who had a customer come in, clutching the page torn out of the magazine.

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