As you may have noticed, the Promote Route 66 project

languished in 2017. In fact, it was just a couple steps away from being dormant. That is about to change, and to change in a very major way because the vision behind this initiative is needed in the Route 66 community, at least in our humble opinion. So, what is the vision statement for Promote Route 66? At the risk of sounding overly simplistic, the vision, the goals of this project is to promote all facets of Route 66.

A Shamrock, Texas sunrise courtesy Jim Hinckley’s America.

Yes, there are countless websites, as well as Facebook pages and groups that promote various facets of Route 66. For some the focus is narrower (just signs, photographs, or abandoned places). This is a good thing as it reflects a diverse and healthy community. It is not the intention of Promote Route 66 to replace or compete with any group, organization, or page.

Some Route 66 groups require membership, often with strings. Others present an impression of being an open forum for discussion, but disagree with the administrators position on a topic, even respectively, and see what happens. At Promote Route 66 we will encourage open discussion of topics, including controversial ones, provided the conversation is respectful.

The focus will be on building a sense of community, on partnerships, and on creating awareness about developments. At this juncture the partnerships include the “Promote” network (Promote Kingman, Promote Havasu, and Promote Bullhead created by MyMarketing Designs), and various facets of Jim Hinckley’s America. The plan is to expand on these limited partnerships in 2018 which will in turn magnify our promotional initiatives as well as those created by authors, artists, business owners, and communities. The initial focus will be on social media development and regular blog posts. The website, with the exception of the calendar of events will follow. 

As important as a network of enthusiasts is for responding to questions about travel on Route 66, sharing updates, and providing tips, there is another need in the Route 66 community, and Promote Route 66 intends to address it. Keeping you apprised of developments that are not Route 66 specific, but that can be beneficial to business owners or communities, or applied to Route 66 marketing or preservation will also be shared, and discussion encouraged.

An example of the latter would include a revolutionary website development project. Did you know that more than forty percent of businesses lack a website, or have a website that is not compatible with modern platforms? Well, My 24 Hour Website developed by a reputable marketing company has the potential to be a tremendous asset for small business owners on Route 66.

A project such as Promote Route 66, if it is to reach its full potential, requires participation from the community. An excellent example it the calendar of events. If this is to become a comprehensive resource, it will need your involvement. Simply create an event on Facebook, and notify Promote Route 66. The event will be added to the page and to the website. If every event organizer takes advantage of this, we all benefit.

The focal point for the limited partnership with Jim Hinckley’s America is the Facebook live programs that in 2017 reached more than 79,000 people. The weekly program developed through the Jim Hinckley’s America crowdfunding initiative, as well as special programs, showcase community leaders, event organizers, authors, artists, photographers, and colorful people. On the December 29 program, guests included Gregg Arnold, creator of Giganticus Headicus, Travis Lingenfelter of The Kingman Life, a branding initiative for Kingman, Arizona, Tim Woods, the new manager for the Mohave County Fair Association, and author Jim Hinckley.

This is another area in which the Route 66 community plays a determining role in the degree of success. From sponsorship to guests, these Facebook live programs hinge on the involvement of the enthusiasts, the business owners, and the community leaders, the people that are at the heart of the Route 66 renaissance.

With that as a lengthy introduction to what is envisioned for 2018, we come to the questions and answer part of the program. Do you see value in a calendar of events and can you assist in its creation? What would you like to see from Promote Route 66? Is there a specific need that is not currently being met which Promote Route 66 can fill? Last but not least, do you feel that Promote Kingman is redundant?

Well, here we go. Out with the old, in with the new. Here is a to new year and new opportunities.