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Regional Marketing Leader, George DuRant, Joins LHWH Advertising & PR

14 May 2019

LHWH Advertising & Public Relations, an internationally recognized full-service agency since 1987, announces the addition of George DuRant, as the company’s new Senior Brand Architect.

DuRant, who most recently served as VP of Tourism Development at the North Myrtle Beach Chamber Of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), will bring more than thirty years of marketing strategy, communications, creative and brand management expertise to LHWH’s award-winning agency team.

During his four-and-a-half year tenure with the North Myrtle Beach Chamber & CVB, DuRant presided over many changes, including the creation and launch of a precedent-setting re-branding and differentiation campaign through the nationally trademarked and award-winning “Just Coast” campaign.

Under DuRant’s guidance, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber and CVB pioneered new demographic and geographic markets, while shifting destination marketing and content strategies to a digital model. The campaigns generated double-digit increases in new visitors to North Myrtle Beach and more than $1.1 billion in travel industry economic impact each of the past two years; boosted online traffic significantly and increased social media presence across all platforms, with ten-fold increase in Facebook acquisition and engagement alone.

“Joining LHWH is an exciting next step for me,” said DuRant. “It reconnects me with the agency business, my first real passion, while giving me a great group of people to work with. It’s refreshing to find a firm that shares so many of my core values. LHWH has an impressive track record of long-term client retention and this only comes from a true commitment to building high-quality relationships and delivering meaningful value. The company’s recent array of international and national awards speaks to the quality of what LHWH creates but, for me, it’s the prospect of working with the LHWH team that matters most to me.”

“The whole LHWH team is thrilled to have a person of George’s caliber joining us,” said Andy Lesnik, president of LHWH. “Many of us have known George throughout his distinguished career and he’ll be a great fit with our exceptionally bright and talented team. With all of the international recognition LHWH has received in the last few years, bringing George into the fold will give us more opportunity to serve additional clients with our digital media expertise, our suite of creative services and our PR capabilities.”

DuRant’s professional history includes leading strategic marketing efforts for visitor destination markets such as Wilmington & Beaches CVB, and Beaufort (S.C.) Regional Chamber of Commerce Travel & Tourism. He was president/owner of The DuRant Agency, which provides integrated sales and marketing solutions for a variety of clients including Winchester Development/ North Beach Plantation, Sterling Homes/Waterford Plantation, Hall Companies and numerous regional clients in a wide array of business categories.

DuRant has crafted strategic marketing initiatives for industry leaders like The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Kingston Plantation, The Alabama Theatre, WCI Management (Waccamaw Pottery, Outlet Park and Fantasy Harbour Entertainment Complex), Golf the Florida Gulf, Brunswick County N.C. Chamber of Commerce and a host of tourism destination marketing organizations. Two tourism media campaigns DuRant designed won the S.C. Governors Cup (Sumter S.C. CVB and Hugo Economic Renewal Task Force). He also served as executive director of the Myrtle Beach Entertainment Holiday marketing cooperative

More recently, in his work at the North Myrtle Beach Chamber and CVB, DuRant created and engineered a widely recognized crisis communication plan, which was Awarded the Mercury Award of Excellence for Crisis Communication for three consecutive years by the SC Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and aimed at mitigating the impact of Hurricanes Matthew, Irma and Florence through paid, social media and comprehensive PR campaigns, while coordinating with the City of NMB, Horry County and the State of South Carolina.

He also implemented a travel PR campaign to encourage travel writers and media to recognize North Myrtle Beach as a first-choice beachside destination, traveling along the east coast to present the North Myrtle Beach brand while also hosting numerous in-market travel media tours. As a result, North Myrtle Beach garnered a record 1 billion earned media impressions in 2017.

Additionally, DuRant established the Chamber and CVB as a research authority in its region by designing and completing powerful visitor profile, economic impact and lodging studies for the travel industry through travel industry experts Gray Research Solutions.

“George’s past experience goes well beyond Travel and Tourism clients,” said Andy Lesnik. “His experience in producing award-winning campaigns for Smoke Free Horry and Glory Foods is complementary to the work LHWH is doing in the health care and food-related categories.”

 

About LHWH

For more than three decades, LHWH Advertising & Public Relations has been a leading marketing and PR firm in the Carolinas. As a full-service marketing agency, it has represented national, regional and local clients in real estate, golf, tourism, entertainment, restaurants, banking and healthcare.

LHWH has an exceptional understanding of how to bring together brand personality and user experience into elegant web design and compelling video. In 2017 and 2018, LHWH has won 141 international/national awards, including Best Mobile Website in the Nation for McLeod Health.

LHWH’s current client list includes McLeod Health, Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing, Burroughs & Chapin, Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’sSimEx-Iwerks, Family Kingdom, Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island, First Reliance Bank and other prominent area companies.

BY Tracey Geary
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