Q&A with Athens Community

Hannah Smith is the Communication Manager with Visit Athens, a tourist hub that generates information about Athens, Georgia and markets the city as a destination place. Native Georgian she has managed all media and written literature for the website, twitter and Facebook for over 10 years.

Q:What is does in mean to be the Communications Manager?

A: I handle all media relations, CVB publications, and digital presence for the official destination marketing organization of Athens, Georgia.

Q: Why did you get involved with Visit Athens?

A: It was a career change for me; had worked in educational administration previously.

Q: Do you have a Journalism degree?

A: No, both degrees are in education.

Q:What form of social media do you prefer to use for promoting Visit Athens? 

A:Twitter, we get more conversation, feedback, and Retweets with Twitter; Facebook engagement levels have been lower for us.

Q:What is your favorite part about working at Visit Athens?

A: We have a vibrant city with so much going on all the time; it is a pleasure to represent such a great destination.

Q: What has been your favorite activity that you have written about in the last ten years?

A: 10 years is a long time!  I like getting to eat in cool new restaurants, in particular.

Q: How do you live “Life Unleashed”? 

A: Try to experience new things and take advantage of all the opportunities we have to see the town.

Q: Is there anything I should know about Georgia before coming next fall? 

A: SEC football is like a religion here. Take the opportunity to tailgate before a home game. But, Athens is definitely NOT all about football, even in the fall. There is a creative energy here that can be seen in our local art galleries, inspired food in locally-owned restaurants, renowned local music scene, and local theatre.

Andrea Griffith is the Director of Athens Talks which launched in the Fall of 2010. She is responsible for moderating the online comments and posting news, features, viral videos, that people are “talking” about on any given day.

Q: How often do you write for the Website?
A:It depends. Some days I spend hours scouring the web and coming up with ideas on what I think will generate conversation. Other days, I’m caught up in meetings, etc. so my time is limited. We’ve put together a team of interns for the summer, so they’ll be posting away!

Q: Do you have the opportunity to participate in the activities that are posted on the webpage and tweeted?
A: Yes, I jump in and give my “two cents” every chance I get. I also work (on a daily basis) to drive conversation and interact with the online commenters.

Q: How long have you worked with Online Athens?
A: I’ve been here since April of 2010.

Q: Why did you get involved with Online Athens?
A: I have a television and online broadcasting background. As newspapers move toward online, there’s more opportunity for a multimedia journalist. I was in the right place at the right time and landed a position here.

Q: Are you originally from Georgia?
A: No. I’m from all over the place.
Q: What form of social media do you prefer to use for promoting Online Athens? Why?
A:We use various forms of social media, but we find that Facebook and Twitter generate the most “click throughs” for us. That raises our traffic numbers and allows more interaction.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Online Athens?
A:The people and the fact that no day is ever the same.

Q: Do you have a Journalism degree?
A: Yes. I do.

Q:Could you describe a typical day on the job at Online Athens?
A: It depends on the position, but my day consists of information gathering, meetings, checking beats, scouring through the interaction on big news stories, shooting video and answering emails.


Q: Is there anything I should know about Georgia before coming next fall?
A: We love our football! Go dawgs! :)

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