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I’m getting more and more concerned about the tone of skiing’s “voice”.

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I know it can feel like three eternities ago, but think back to February of this year. Think about your marketing. Think about other resorts’ marketing. Think about ski media.

Now, get some of those messages in your head and start to describe the tone of what you’re remembering. If you’re like me, words that come to mind are:

  • Fun: families, smiling people
  • Lighthearted: jokes, casual tone
  • Inspiring: amazing scenery, incredible skill
  • Aspirational: dream vacations, tricks you want to learn

Let’s fast forward, not to March or April, but to today. July 2020. What are the words that come to mind? As a guy that watches most move resorts make? This is what I see.

  • Serious: info on risks and regulations
  • Formal: carefully worded updates on things
  • Vague: reflection of not knowing what’s going to happen

I’m not saying all messages are like this, but more are. Many, many more are.

The Concern
There is absolutely a need for more careful, serious information than years past. That is what it is. What I’m worried about is whether this is too much of what we say. Or, said another way, the only way we talk about things that, with a little creativity, can be warmer without sacrificing meaning.

Take a recent card from Jay, for example, about wearing a mask. It gets the point across, but it also uses Jay’s voice.

Another example from Blue Mountain. A serious point gets made, but in the classic ski “we don’t take ourselves too seriously” way.

Or how Snowbird approached Fathers Day: say nothing about anything at all and make people smile (or roll their eyes, which is just as good in my book).

What I’m saying is that I’m seeing a TON of the message. But I’m not seeing any of the old voice. And that worries me.

Try, Try, Try
This is unfamiliar territory. We’ve never had to share these messages before, let alone in a way that’s both reflective of the nature of the situation while neatly mixed with our usual, fun-loving natures.

It’ll take some practice, to be sure. Maybe it’ll simply take posting more content that has nothing to do with COVID or what to know when you visit, simply to tip the scales more toward for the vibe of pre-COVID days.

But I think it’s time to try to find ways to sneak in the old voice more and more. To, yes, help folks know what’s going on. But also help them think of words like fun and inspiring when they think of us, not serious and formal. A vibe that’s important for our sport both now and after all this blows over.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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