Before joining academia, Ryan worked as an award-winning digital marketer. He served as Visit Wichita’s Digital Marketing Manager and provided freelance digital strategy and marketing work to the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, Papa John’s Wichita, and more.

Below are three examples of Ryan’s award-winning work, largely built around community engagement to support the local economy.

Visit Wichita – Play Day Campaign

To celebrate the 2013 National Travel and Tourism Week, Visit Wichita attempted to combat Wichitans’ common complaint that “there is nothing to do in Wichita.” Promoting tourism in the Midwest becomes more difficult if the people living in the city don’t think the city is an exciting place for friends and family to live or visit. I worked with community partners to highlight Wichita’s many cultural experiences by giving away 1,000 free tickets to local attractions.

The video above highlights the success of the campaign. The campaign was awarded the Travel Industry Association of Kansas’ Best Integrated Marketing Award and the Public Relation Society of America’s Clarus Award of Excellence for Special Events and Occurrences. Learn more about the campaign here.

Wichita Restaurant Week – Inaugural Festival

I served as the digital marketing chair on the executive committee for the first Wichita Restaurant Week, a week long celebration of restaurants in the Wichita area. Local restaurants offered special menu items that chefs specially created for the event. The Boys and Girls Club of Wichita received 10% of sales from these special menu items.

As the digital marketing chair, I created the website that listed all of the participating restaurants and their menu items, managed the coordinated social media campaign with local restaurants, and planned the digital advertising campaign used to promote the event.

The Wichita Restaurant Week campaign raised over $8,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Wichita and won the Travel Industry Association of Kansas’ Best Integrated Marketing Award in 2013.

Visit Wichita – #IseeT Campaign

To harness the power of Visit Wichita’s large social media following, we asked our followers to share pictures of their favorite Wichita hangs and haunts on their social media using the #IseeT hashtag. This campaign used our following’s organic reach to push Wichita’s beauty and culture to their friends and followers around the country.

Just as people living in Portland identify with the PDX identifier, Wichitans identify with the ICT airline identifier. Thus, the #IseeT hashtag asked people to let their followers see ICT. As we pushed for participants’ to share their Wichita favorites, we also conducted a press blitz to ask Wichitans to invite friends and family to visit the city.

Below is a gallery of some of the 500+ images people posted using the hashtag. The campaign successfully reached tens of thousands of potential visitors organically, garnered media attention, and supported economic spending in the local economy.