Posted on June 26, 2012


Barefoot Studios, LLC and Lanai Visitors Bureau Celebrate Pacific Edge Magazine’s “Best Social Media Campaign in Hawaii” Accolade

The Lanai Visitors Bureau’s (LVB) innovative “New Media Artist-in-Residence Campaign” for Lanai Island was selected as the “Best Social Media Campaign in Hawaii” by Pacific Edge Magazine.

While many visitor destinations continue to struggle with incorporating social media into their marketing plans, LVB recognized two primary advantages early on – the low cost of social media and the power of rapid execution. Wanting to be among the “first out of the gate,” LVB committed to a strategic social media program to successfully showcase the many facets of the island.

“We knew that social media held promise for raising awareness of Lanai,” said Mary Charles, president, LVB board of directors. “We also knew that a special program would need to accommodate our various challenges, but also leverage our unique attributes. We are thrilled to have been recognized with this very prestigious award.”

Pacific Edge Magazine Business Achievement Awards

Award nominations were collected by Element Media and judged by an independent panel of esteemed community leaders. Winners were announced at the second annual red carpet gala event. Details are available at:

About the Program
LVB worked hand-in-hand with Roxanne Darling and Bare Feet Studios LLC, who produced the program. A team of seven new media artists (aka bloggers) experienced a one-week “artist-in-residence” program on Lanai over a span of six months. LVB created a new concept in social marketing by blending the well-established traditions of writer-in-residence and artist-in-residence programs. They then added a dose of solid business logic: specific and measurable deliverables. Each ingredient on its own is not unusual; it is the blending of this set of ingredients with a tangible infusion of the aloha spirit that created stellar results.

The intention was to have top bloggers “talk” about Lanai for an extended period of time across numerous social networks, without restrictions. LVB encouraged each participant to speak from their unique voices, openly and honestly, to share Lanai with their readers and followers. Each artist guaranteed minimums to produce and redistribute, and enjoyed the confidence of having a first class product to promote. The team provided extraordinary buzz among each other – much more so than single, isolated blogger trips, which are common today.

Key Program Elements

  • The team was hand-curated as LVB chose high profile, grass roots bloggers representing the spectrum of male-female, younger-older, and east-west coast home base. Their blogs were evaluated for best practices along with their personal Klout scores along with other vetting criteria.
  • Each artist was given full editorial control over their stories, photos and videos.
  • Each was required to support the other team members over the span of the six-month program – continuing to keep messaging alive before and after their individual visits. This brought more “eyeballs” to each person’s work and kept expanding the reach of exposure to Lanai.
  • Each was required to create a minimum amount of stories (aka content) across their blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. All exceeded the requirements, in large part due to the island experience and the strong personal connections made during this program.
  • LVB created social assets for Lanai to join the online conversation: a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Flickr photo pool, and a Posterous blog (upgraded recently to WordPress).
  • LVB used a hashtag across all assets to unify the conversation and marketing stories. #VisitLanai
  • LVB provided training and progress reports to its destination partners to help them understand how the campaign worked and how to interact with the artists.


  • The team produced 55 blog entries, over 380,000 average monthly page views, several hundred photographs, countless tweets and Facebook posts. Dozens more have been created since.
  • The campaign generated 2.5 million new results for “visit lanai” on Google. Screen shots available on request.
  • The bloggers’ original stories were syndicated across numerous traditional media, including The Atlantic, USA Today, and Lonely Planet.