The city of Camden recently welcomed Suzi Sale as its tourism development director. Sale has an extensive background of experience with professional marketing strategies and, as her resume states, “a strong track record of successfully leading and executing comprehensive communications and growth strategies for a wide variety of public and private enterprises throughout the Eastern U.S.”
Some of her previous work includes roles as vice president of corporate marketing and communications for EDENS, an owner, operator and developer of retail real estate; vice president, Group Practice Leader for Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Atlanta, a global public relations consultancy; marketing and public relations director for Seabrook Island and Amelia Island Plantations; and president of Susan Sale & Company, where she led the marketing, advertising and public relations activities surrounding the development and opening of the Village at Sandhill.
Sale said she has 25 years of both agency and client-side experience and has “planned and executed tourism and traffic building, brand identity and targeted communications programs for communities, hospitality and resorts, major sports events, retailers and real estate development.”
With part of her salary funded by Kershaw County, Sale will also develop tourism throughout the county. One of Sale’s first tasks as the area’s Tourism Development Director was to conduct a communications audit. She said the audit would examine what the city is saying about itself via press releases, brochures, online and through other venues. Sale said during the process she is meeting with individuals involved with community engagement to discuss what their expectations were.
Sale will be implementing the recommendations given to the city by marketing firm Arnett Muldrow earlier this year and will be promoting the new “Classically Carolina” brand. She has trademarking already underway. She said she’ll meet with stakeholders “to hear their vision.” Sale said it is important for all stakeholders to become familiar with Arnett Muldrow’s marketing/branding plan.
“This is an exciting thing,” she said. “I’m working with individuals and teams who’ve poured themselves into their organizations.”
As she develops tourism in the city, Sale said she would be augmenting its energy.
“I’ll be promoting at a greater level. We have passionate people in place and successful products and services already available,” she noted.
Sale acknowledged that any such task will be met with challenges, but said she is prepared to work together closely with stakeholders to get them to “partner up” in the tourism development effort.
“Arnett Muldrow mentioned that it takes everyone working together, sharing information on what they have and who they’re marketing to in order to promote synergies,” Sale said. “My goal is to promote Camden as the basket of goodies that it is.”
An immediate goal is to create a map that will show all the city’s amenities -- museums, shops, restaurants, galleries, trails, tours, parks and various other venues. She said having all the city’s venues, events and attractions on one main document would help conduct tourism.
“We want this (project) accomplished very soon,” she said.
Sale said she feels very strongly that Camden is a special place.
“Camden has been special to me since I was a child,” she said. “My parents were history buffs and they loved exploring … we took many road trips, exploring towns in South Carolina. We always came to Camden; we picnicked at Historic Camden.”
Sale said her parents even began renovating a home on Fair Street, which they later sold.
She was also a previous owner and operator of The Camden House Bed & Breakfast Inn.
“Everything that makes South Carolina great is here in Camden,” she said. “I don’t know that everyone realizes all we have. Camden has fabulous cultural and natural assets -- lakes, waterways, walking, cycling and hiking trails. The equine community is an enormous asset. It’s a place where people like the outdoors. They like history, animals, sports -- there’s something here for everyone.”