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The greater Mauston area has a lot to offer and with help from Social Energizer, it hopes to bring more tourists into the area, boosting the local economy.

On Wednesday, Lynn Rasmussen and Chris Shudy of Social Energizer, a marketing and design firm from Appleton, updated the City of Mauston’s Room Tax Committee on their latest re-branding efforts.

Social Energizer is currently working on several re-branding projects for Mauston, including a new website, Mauston.org, and an updated Facebook page that will be known simply as “Mauston.” Rasmussen and Shudy are also developing surveys that tourists and local residents can fill out when they attend area events. The company is hoping to have results of the surveys available by September.

“We’re trying to find out what people think about Mauston,” Rasmussen said. “We have things in place right now where we can keep working.”

Rasmussen and Shudy are aiming to attract tourists from not just Madison and Milwaukee, but also Chicago and the Twin Cities, who are looking for a quick getaway to see the area’s vibrant fall foliage.

“We think people will want to come up and see the fall colors,” Rasmussen said.

Social Energizer is also working on a rack card, a promotional pamphlet that features facts about Mauston on the cover and flips into a map with points of interest listed at the bottom. The map covers cities and attractions within a 30 to 40-mile radius in all directions.

“I like how the rack card opens up,” said Dennis Nielsen, Room Tax Committee Member.

The committee also discussed what businesses should be listed on the rack card.

“We have to have some type of criteria of who should be on it,” Nielsen said.

“As we keep going, we’re finding what places would be good places to stop for bus tours and things like that,” Rasmussen said. “We want to have targeted businesses listed who are involved in tourism. Right now, we’re focusing close to Mauston, but as the brand becomes more popular, we’ll want to branch out to include places 30 miles away or so.”

The new website continues to be a work in progress, but Rasmussen and Shudy presented the council with plans and ideas of what Mauston.org will become in the next few months.

“I just want it to promote as much as we can,” Nielsen said. “That way, the city is happy, the county is happy … everyone’s happy.”

Social Energizer has set the website to a mobile format, and Rasmussen said it’ll be accessible on any device. Rasmussen said nearly 80 percent of consumers are finding travel information on mobile devices.

Also new to the site is a newsletter feature designed to send updates via email. According to Rasmussen, email is a very effective, low cost way to transmit marketing information.

Mauston.org could also feature pages with small business profiles, which could be added and updated by the businesses.

“As we go along with this, people will start participating,” Rasmussen said. “People than can say, ‘Hey, I saw it on Mauston.org.’”

Shudy and Rasmussen said the new site will probably focus on businesses from Mauston, New Lisbon and Wisconsin Dells, but it would try to lead the user back to Mauston.

For SEO keyword purposes, the company is looking to shift from having users type “Mauston, Wisconsin,” in the search bar to “Greater Mauston.”

“Key phrases can really make a difference,” Rasmussen said. “There are a lot of changes going on right now with the site so we can build a really good infrastructure to improve upon. The user experience is so important, so we don’t want to disappoint anyone. The plan is working.”

Going forward, the Room Tax Committee will work with Social Energizer to finish the rack cards and develop Mauston.org, along with social media platforms. Nielsen told Rasmussen and Shudy, “You guys are doing a great job. The website has really come a long way from where it was a few months ago.”

The committee is also considering billboards with the new Mauston logo and branding that will cost between $250-$450.

Also on Wednesday, the committee approved grant support in the amount of $2,000 to the Badger State Pullers for a tractor pull event at this year’s Juneau County Fair. The Badger State Pullers is a well know group that features pulling events throughout the Upper Midwest.

The next Room Tax Committee meeting will be held on July 8 at the Mauston municipal building.