Lynchburg, VA - Discover Lynchburg, The Hill City's tourism agency, got a big honor this week. The American Chamber of Commerce Executives, or ACCE, gave the agency an Award of Excellence for the marketing campaign "Discover, Love, Share."
"Discover is of course discover Lynchburg. Love ties us in to the statewide marketing campaign: 'Virginia is for lovers.' And the word 'share' is the mantra of today's social media," said Director Beckie Nix.
The campaign encourages people to share pictures of their favorite Lynchburg spots, and use the hashtag #Lynchburg VA on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Nix says the national award recognizes the importance of social media in marketing.
"That viral effect of getting the word out there, letting people know who you are, and letting them share their experiences with their friends," Nix said.
The love sculpture by the Blackwater Creek trail in downtown Lynchburg is proof the strategy working.
On Saturday, there was a group of teens from out of town taking pictures with the sculpture.
"I had seen pictures on Facebook and so I was like, 'Let's go find the love sculpture," said Michelle Hettmann.
Discover Lynchburg teamed up with The James River Arts Council and Humanities and the city to bring the sculpture downtown. Right next to it, there are signs asking people to share pictures on social media.
"We'll probably put it on Twitter, and hashtag it,' said Hettmann laughing.
Discover Lynchburg will have a contest on its Facebook page to pick the best "Love" picture with the sculpture.