AC CLUBBING

Guests board the party bus at the Irish Pub, bound for Anthem at Tropicana on Feb. 27 in Atlantic City. The Atlantic City Alliance is talking about expanding its DO AC Nightlife Party bus.

Sean M. Fitzgerald

ATLANTIC CITY — From arts and entertainment to drawing more overnight visitors and business groups, the Atlantic City Alliance will continue its effort to promote the city, ACA President Liza Cartmell said Tuesday.

“It’s definitely important for me to see these beach communities survive and thrive economically,” Cartmell told the Public Relations Council of Greater Atlantic City during a luncheon at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.

The alliance, a privately funded nonprofit, works closely with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

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This year, the alliance plans to focus its efforts on marketing specific events, rather than simply pushing the “DO AC” brand.

That means more of the money it spends each year will go toward digital and social media marketing and less on television advertising, Cartmell said.

In 2013, the alliance spent 86 percent of its advertising dollars on the brand. This year, it plans to drop that to 30 percent and increase its spending on promoting specific events to 47 percent.

The alliance has an annual budget of $30 million.

Another focus will be on drawing more overnight visitors, pushing the city’s potential in the business community and the area’s nightlife, she said.

A key part of that will be emphasizing the city’s free beach access and other amenities outside the casinos, something that differentiates the city from other gambling destinations, such as Las Vegas.

The alliance has focused heavily on what it considers the “drive-in market,” including New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and surrounding areas.

Cartmell updated a few other events and projects the alliance is working on, including:

* Potentially expanding the reach of the DO AC Nightlife Party bus;

* The DO AC Pro Beach Volleyball tournament, which may include a beer garden and food trucks this year;

* The alliance is working with the CRDA to install murals on the outside of West Hall. One side will be a beach theme while the other will have a marina theme;

* Subsidies for conventions. This year the city will host the National Association for Black Journalists.

The alliance’s research is showing that the campaign to improve Atlantic City’s image is starting to pay off in the news and social media, Cartmell said.

“We’re trying to make it happen as fast as we can … but there’s still more work to do,” she said. “We’re here to sell Atlantic City to visitors and its surrounding communities.”

Afterward, Cartmell took questions from the audience, including one asking what the alliance could do to help push a positive image of the city in the media.

Susan Adelizzi Schmidt, president of Suasion Communications Group, said she was pleased with what Cartmell had to say.

“It was well done,” she said. “Anything that brings more people.”

Contact Steve Hughes:

609-272-7090

More than 30 years’ experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines in Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Jersey and 1985 winner of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s John Murphy Award for copy editing.

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