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TDC mobile app scores a ‘Henry’

Franklin County has received the state’s highest tourism marketing
award for the Florida’s Forgotten Coast mobile app.

Visit Florida, the state’s marketing entity, presented the
prestigious first place “Henry” award in the rural marketing category to the
Franklin County TDC.

Receiving the award at the annual Governor’s Conference in Hollywood.
on Sept. 8, were Franklin County Tourist Development Council Chairman Ricky
Jones and TDC Director John Solomon.

The mobile app was the idea of Jones, who wanted an
immediate way to convey important information, particularly in emergency
situations, to residents and visitors alike. Solomon was tasked with the
creation and design of the mobile app which is downloadable from
Floridasforgottencoast.com, or in your mobile provider’s App store.

“In this digital world we live in, we needed this as a way
to communicate with our visitors, but quickly realized that we could use this as
a way to advertise and promote our area as well,” said Jones, who also chairs
the county commission. “Although we didn’t do it with an award in mind, it is
nice to receive this award for a job well done.

Launched in Nov. 2020, the mobile app includes a push
notification feature that notifies users of important weather-related
information such as double red flag beach alerts or emergency information
within the county.

The app also helps visitors access information about area
amenities, events, lodging, restaurants, shopping and outdoor recreation
opportunities with just a click on their phone. The app includes an itinerary
builder for visitors and a passport game to encourage exploring all aspects of
Franklin County.

“The mobile app is a major step forward in the promotion of
Franklin County as a tourism destination,” said Solomon, noting that since its
launch in Nov. 2020, the app has become a popular tool when planning a trip or
visiting the Forgotten Coast.

“We saw a big jump in downloads the day after the award
ceremony as well,” he said. “It has been great for our visitors as well as our
residents and we’re delighted it has received recognition from Visit Florida.”

This is the Franklin County TDC’s first Henry award, though
it is the fourth Flagler award it has won in the past two years, winning two
bronze and one silver award last year.

The Flagler Awards were established in 2000 by Visit Florida
to recognize outstanding tourism marketing in Florida. Annually, the Flagler
Awards honor many of the individuals and organizations that help maintain and
improve Florida’s position as one of the world’s most popular travel

The awards are open to all individuals, private businesses
and not-for-profit organizations offering a product or service that promotes
tourism to or within the state of Florida.

As in previous years, the 2021 Flagler Awards drew entries
from Florida’s tourism partners, large and small. Working independently, a
panel of judges evaluated the creativity, innovation, production quality, and
effectiveness of each entry. Based on the judges’ cumulative scores, awards
were presented to the top three entries in each category: the Bronze Award for
the third highest scoring entry, the Silver Award for the second highest
scoring entry, and for the highest scoring entry in each category, the Henry

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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