Case Study: Las Vegas’ Missed Opportunity

las vegasSocial media is about sharing information, building relationships and most of all open communication. The opportunity to engage people and discuss issues as they arise within your industry are now a part of how we do business.  Not too long ago, companies/organizations/brands were limited to traditional means of advertising and mainstream media via TV news, newspaper/magazines or their website to send their message without being able to really gauge a response.  Sales increase or decrease is a response, no doubt, but what consumers were really saying was unknown (unless they wrote a letter or an email). Social media has changed that as now there is an opportunity to communicate with people and see how they feel and what their reactions are. Some do this very well, so not so much and some not at all.


This week, President Obama angered the Nevada Senators, Representatives, Govenor and the Mayor of Las Vegas when he referenced spending money in Las Vegas … again.  In his speech, President Obama said:

“When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you’re trying to pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save on college. You prioritize, you make tough choices.”

The Challenge

The challenge for the City of Las Vegas, the politicians and let’s add the Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as Mr. Rossi spoke out, is to convince people that they should come to Las Vegas and spend money despite the President Obama’s remark (for those that have the disposable income to travel).

Steps Taken

All of the politicians in Nevada came running to the defense of spending money in Las Vegas. Mayor Goodman’s was swarmed with reporters from the local news and publications.  Social media platforms …

Senator Harry Reid:

  • Twitter: No mention, however did mention really good news  for Nevada.Harry Reid
  • Blog: None
  • Facebook: No mention.  Numerous comments, interaction amongst commentors but nothing from the Reid camp. Harry Reid Facebook

Senator Reid does post videos to his website and the most recent on February 4, 2010, Reid stated it was a “… great week for Nevada …”

Senator John Ensign.

john ensign

  • Blog:  None
  • Facebook: No mention.  Limited activity, no interaction, just posts.John Ensign Facebook

Representative Shelley Berkeley

  • Twitter:  No presence that could be found.
  • Blog: None
  • Facebook: No presence that could be found.

Representative Dina Titus

  • Twitter: No presence that could be found.
  • Blog: None
  • Facebook: Presence that is a personal page and not a fan page. Dina Titus

Govenor Jim Gibbons

  • Twitter: 2 or 3 accounts with zero activity.
  • Facebook: Fan Page that states “No Recent Posts.”Jim Gibbons

Mayor Oscar Goodman

  • Twitter:  Mayor Goodman has a few twitter accounts associated with is office: @oscargoodman which has 1 tweet, 18 followers,  @CityofLasVegas which has 25 tweets, 149 followers  and @CLVAlerts which as 36 tweets, and 99 followers (and a broken link to the website).
  • Blog: None
  • Facebook: Fan page. The interaction was started however commentors were instructed to contact the Mayor’s office which led to a webpage with the contact information in the footer as a link to the contact of las vegas


Social media was all but  ignored except by John Ensign and a brief session on Facebook by the City of Las Vegas. Tourism is an economic driver for Las Vegas and speaking locally is only reaching locals who cannot influence tourism.  Gaming while supported by locals and also tourists probably will not suffer on the local level from the remarks of The President anymore than they did a week ago.

Fight Fire with Fire

President Obama had a huge social media presence and maximized the platforms for GOTV (get out the vote).   These efforts as well as social media efforts by companies in their own backyard, (Zappos being located just outside the City of Las Vegas) have been overlooked.  The tools have been afforded to each and every “outraged” politician and for some, despite some having a presence, they chose to keep the issue local and really do nothing to reach those that would travel to Las Vegas and spend money.

Lesson to Be Learned

Use the social media tools wisely. For those representating Las Vegas and Nevada, create a following that is not limited to locals and interact, interact and interact.  When in doubt, repeat.  Create a blog and a strong social media presence so that when something like this arises it is not just a rant to locals. Coming on the heels of Super Sunday, weddings for Valentines’ Day and also college basketball tournament in March, an opportunity to interact with the online community was missed.  If tourism drives the economy then why only talk to locals.  Locals do not put heads in beds or money in the cage.  Guess as a City and State Las Vegas and Nevada is still lagging behind in social media marketing.  When you are ready to catch up and utilize the tools available, we are here to help.  Really we are.

What do you think?  Was this a missed opportunity or better kept on the local level?

photo credit: http2007

  • Ouch! Missed Opportunity indeed… Although, can't say much for our city… They are not watering our parks, closing down our community centers, cutting our police and fire, and turning off street lights. Maybe this will be my next blog. Great Article and in your face!.. But they didn't take advantage of trying to make an argument for spending in Vegas, nor did they trying to rectify the situation. Their Bad!

  • Jan Kasal

    Once elected, they don't need to communicate. They have to campaign to get money for the next elections.
    But your post may change their opinion and at least one of the officials may hire Khrize5 to show them what is behind the term social media.
    Now, the question is how they get your post. A little ping or poke?

  • Jan

    I doubt that they will see this unless I tweet it to them or post it on their FB (which they do not read anyway). If you are going to be involved in SM, then BE INVOLVED. The anger they exhibited for a day was pointless as they got the locals all fired up? yeah and … Did they want the locals to make noise and sit back? They missed the opportunity here and to be a leader in SM. I have another local co that is another bad example of SM – have to go and take the pic on way to SB party.

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