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Every place has a story. Probably more than one even. How we share them and how we assure people know about them is up to us, of course. On a 2014 trip to the Techatticup Mine in Eldorado Canyon several storytelling elements came to mind.
Element 1: Have an updated website with the correct keywords
I saw an advertisement about a helicopter trip around the area that included a tour of this gold mine. The ad mentioned the gold mine by name, I googled something to the effect of gold mine tour near Las Vegas. I may have used the mine’s name, too. Either way, I ended up on the correct website.
Element 2: Make sure the website has accurate information
The mine’s site did. It mentioned how much a tour would cost ($12.50), when the office was open and included other relevant information. It was enough for me to plan the next day, how much it would cost me and how to reach them. The phone number was also correct! I called and left a voicemail asking them to call me back. I know they didn’t open until 9 a.m. the next morning!
Element 3: Mesh online with offline channels seamlessly
The next morning, my phone rang just moments after 9 a.m. The tour guide expanded on what I knew already from the website and got me signed up for a tour at 12:30.
“What’s the address out there? For my GPS,” I asked.
“Oh, GPS doesn’t get you out here. Doesn’t work. Let me give you directions.”
Interestingly, I thought, that comment actually got me even more excited about the trip.
Element 4: The offline experience holds up to what’s promised online and even pluses it.
It all started with the drive out to the mine. Driving on a four-lane highway, the mountains outside Las Vegas are stunning. The roadside sign saying that this area is “Enforced by Airplane” added another touch. I turned off the four-lane highway onto a two-lane road and and the surroundings changed completely.
I Facebooked this:
How did I know this was worth sharing – especially with my connections in Iowa? It was different. We pay attention to new and different things. That’s why it’s important that stories include tidbits that are new to the audience. At least from time to time.
In comparison, here’s how it looked in Iowa:
Once I got to the mine the tour was informal, educational and entertaining. We learned about a number of Hollywood films that had been filmed at the mine. The plane was was blown up during the filming of “3000 Miles from Graceland” still sits on the property and is incorporated in the stories shared during the tour.
Many other stories were shared on the number of people killed in the area, how workers got gold out of the mine and how the current owners went about buying it.
I left with exciting stories to share back at the hotel (I was in Las Vegas to attend the New Media Expo), at home and, of course, I shared my photos on social media.
When stories span all relevant channels the experience can improve. Clearly, some channels are better than others for some experiences. No photo on a website, for example, would have equalled me actually standing inside the mine. But the photo on the website now – after the fact – is another way to remember and share the experience.