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September’s luncheon featured Erica Moore, the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Anakeesta. As a leader in her organization with experience in media relations, social media marketing and brand management, Erica led attendees through her time ‘Marketing from the Mountaintops.”

Erica was hired into her position at Anakeesta only one month before the Grand Opening. For her interview, she remembers walking through a construction site, wondering how this would ever be ready in time. Despite her short timeline, Erica knew that it is important to make an impact when launching a new attraction. She dove in feet first to make sure Anakeesta made a splash when they opened.

Marketing Tools

When discussing the tools that she uses to be successful, Erica stresses importance of industry leaders. As an attraction in Gatlinburg, Erica has a lot of big names to look up to, including Dollywood and Ripley’s. She doesn’t see these other attractions as competition, as some would. She looks at it as they are “in it with us instead of being in it against us.” She can attribute much of Anakeesta’s growth to listening to local industry leaders.

Anakeesta’s marketing team also relies heavily on digital outlets. These include Google, Facebook, Website Grader, Yext and Hubspot. The analytics features on each of these sites can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of digital marketing techniques. It is also a way to keep in touch with customer satisfaction through reviews.

Lastly, Erica covered Anakeesta’s collateral. These are the guides, brochures, vouchers, banners and more that Anakeesta uses to drive sales. Standing out in such a saturated market can prove to be tough. Erica’s strategy in this situation is simply, less is more. Anakeesta’s collateral tends to stay more simplistic. When looking at a board of flashy brochures, oftentimes, the classic, simple brochure can be attention grabbing.


Erica left the audience with several impactful and helpful takeaways.

  • Change is not bad. It is necessary to stay relevant.
  • Feedback is crucial. Use your data.
  • Look at industry leaders. What can you learn from those doing really well in your business?

In closing, Jessica Gutman, AMA Knoxville Board President, invited everyone to attend the October Luncheon next month, Becoming the Modern United Way to discuss rebranding a well-established organization.

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