Sometimes you just fall in love with a city. Houston, of course, is my first love when it comes to major metropolitan cities; after all, Houston is home. But, this past weekend, I fell in love with another American city: Seattle. If you follow me on the various social media channels I update regularly, then you’ve seen photo evidence of some of the scenes and scenarios that make Seattle so lovable.
I love that Seattle appreciates and encourages the arts. From the beautiful Chihuly Glass & Gardens we strolled through, to the creation of Gas Works Park from an old crude oil plant, Seattle makes art a priority, and a part of its citizens’ everyday life. Did you know that through its percent-for-art-ordinance, the city requires that 1% of city capital improvement funds go towards art installations? Amazing, right? Because of this, you can find giant sculptures and works of art on what feels like every few blocks.
As a PR professional, I’m constantly noticing how brands are (and aren’t) delivering across public relations, marketing and social media platforms and tactics. This is where famous Seattle landmark, the Space Needle, comes in. While this tourist trap included a pretty long wait (it took us about 1.5 hours to actually secure a reservation and make it through the line and then all of the way up) and cost us a pretty penny ($24/each), making it to the top was totally worth it, and not just because of the views.
The Space Needle has an impressive interactive strategy, which I noticed the minute we walked inside. First, photos taken by an employee while we waited in line could be viewed from the top through the landmark’s very own “Space Book.” We were able to send ourselves the photo from one of many “Space Book” stations by entering our email – and now the Space Needle has our contact info, which is a serious win for them, and something we recommend to our clients all of the time! Additionally, visitors can grab their photos online at a later date!
Outside of our souvenir photo, the Space Needle also offers one of the coolest visitor perks I’ve seen to date: the ability to share your visit with future Space Needle visitors on its interactive map. That’s right, the observation deck inside the Needle hosted a very cool (and large) touch screen wall, where visitors could log their visit, their hometown and their names (as you can see, I made things easy and gave myself my future last name – wahoo!). We were able to click various points on the map to see visitors from all over the world and the exact date of their visits. Plus, the wall shared fun facts with visitors like the fact that 11 reality TV stars and 17 Elvis impersonators have been among the 34+ million visitors.
Finally, the observation deck walls are covered with digital photos taken by visitors, as catalogued through use of the #SpaceNeedle hashtag. Thousands and thousands of images rotate on the walls that are generated from visitors’ social media accounts (you can see a few behind me in the map photo). I’m hoping one day, mine and Eric’s photos will make it on the wall!
Written by: Jenny Selber