Contact: John Golden 

Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board
Earns Recognition for Online Creative Efforts

 Marketing and Communications Team
Shines in International Awards Program

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - The ongoing efforts of the Marketing and Communications team at the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) received four awards of distinction from the Association of Marketing Communications Professionals (AMCP), a Dallas-based organization of industry professionals.

The VFTCB was recognized with Hermes Creative Awards, based on evaluation of its ongoing content as judged by marketing-communications experts seeking to spotlight high standards of excellence. The 2015 competition yielded 6,000 entries worldwide.

The organization's website received the highest distinction, a Platinum award. The site was wholly redesigned and refreshed as part of the VFTCB's 2014 rebranding. Honorifics at this level are achieved only by the top 15 percent of entrants, according to AMCP statistics.

Further, the VFTCB earned four Gold awards - exclusive to only the top 22 percent of entrants -for its Patriot Trails microsite, the website in its entirety as judged in the nonprofit category and for the blog writing associated with its twice-weekly blog, The Pursuit.

"We are truly honored," says VFTCB Vice President of Marketing and Communications Edward Harris, "especially because of the peer-to-peer nature of the competition. The judges for the Hermes Creative Awards looked at our material in the context of entries from individual communicators, media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies, submitting work from 25 different countries. It is a very prestigious field in which to be recognized.

"The other interesting aspect of this competition," Harris continues, "is that the submissions were all done online. We supplied URLs - not paper entries - that gave the judges open access to our communications. We were never sure exactly when they were visiting, nor specifically what they saw. So the recognition comes almost like a surprise inspection in the military: Our landing page, for example, wasn't judged at one point in time but rather, over a period of time. One of our blogs didn't receive an award; all the ones published throughout the evaluation timeframe did."

Harris is quick to recognize his team in its entirety, saying, "Without true professionals like John Golden (Director of Communications), Joe Tacynec (Creative Content & Social Media Manager), Dan Weckerly (Communications Manager) and Zach Brown (Online Marketing/Research Manager), this distinction would never have happened."

Michael Bowman, new president of the VFTCB, sees the distinction as "... especially notable coming from an objective, third party with a high-profile outlook in the industry."

"This is a great achievement for the Board," Bowman continues. "We will continue to leverage our online tourism information, especially with the upcoming World Meeting of Families and Papal visit and the 2016 Democratic National Convention."

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The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board's award-winning website serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosting The Pursuit, its industry-recognized, twice-weekly blog.