Katy McNeil, director of the Columbus Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, recently opened up a position for marketing and communications assistant so she could focus more on her work promoting the city.
“My advisory team asked what would be of most benefit to change, what takes the most time from sales, and that’s marketing,” McNeil said. “To make ads, website changes, promotions and push info on social media takes a lot of time. I love to, but it takes time.”
Enter Liz Plettner, the newest addition to McNeil’s team. Plettner, born in Columbus, moved to Norfolk at a young age due to her mother’s job and came back after high school. She spent some time at Central Community College and eventually attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she graduated.
“Shortly after graduating college, I left and was living in other states, other towns. After coming back here, it just felt like home and there’s been so many people who are warm and welcoming,” Plettner said.
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Plettner has been in the role for just two weeks now and is learning a lot, she said, but she’s hoping to learn even more as she grows into the position.
“It’s gonna be a learning process but I think it’s really cool that the visitors bureau is adding on and making these changes where we’re gonna be doing a lot of new exciting things for downtown Columbus and all these expansions happening,” Plettner said.
Plettner’s duties are mostly focused on her abilities in photography, studio art and graphic design. Formerly, these abilities were used outside of her work and she’s happy to try to use them as much as possible.
“I’ll be able to use some of my photography skills for this and I think it’ll be awesome,” Plettner said. “For the most part my creative outlets were basically freelance, so a lot of volunteer work and things like that.”
McNeil said Plettner has fallen into the groove of things quickly and is learning even faster.
“This is week two for her and it’s apparent she wants to learn more and wants to be involved so I want to give as much as she thinks she can handle on the marketing side,” McNeil said.
McNeil added that Plettner’s duties will be a little flexible but mostly she will be working with the Something Good app, social media and digital marketing for events and businesses.
“I’m excited that we can make this position anything it needs to be to benefit the community as long as we can relate it to promoting attractions, promoting our community as a destination, marketing our events,” McNeil said.
Over the past week, Plettner has plunged headfirst into the bureau’s preparation for Columbus Days, which she said she’s excited to see unfold.
“I’m very excited about this, to see everything going on and it seems like there’s so many events. I think it’s going to be a blast,” Plettner said. “[I’m excited for] the wiener dog races. I’ve never seen that before and I feel like it’ll be fun. The turtle races are neat as well.”