Nekasha Pratt & Tennessee Tourism

The Importance of Women in Tourism

Nekasha Pratt, the Director of Marketing for the Tennessee Department of Tourism, talks with Lipstick Economy about the success that Tennessee tourism has had in being one of the top 10 destinations in the U.S., drawing 1.9 million domestic travelers to the state.

Lipstick Economy

What should we know about Nekasha?

Nekasha oversees marketing campaigns that generated $1.8 billion in state tax revenue in 2018 – focusing primarily on digital and social media marketing, email, branding, websites and creative services. Pratt is an award-winning marketer with more than 15 years of experience. Tourism campaigns she has overseen have won national Webby, Clio, Effie and Addy creative awards, and 3 international Cannes Lions awards.

How do women consumers factor into marketing Tennessee as a destination?

Nekasha explains women overwhelming plan the majority of travel whether it be solo trips, girls trips, family trips, or multi-generational travel.  State marketing reaches those women with inspiration, storytelling, unique media and creative campaigns bring awareness to female travel planners.  The consumers are segmented by generation, by interests and by lifestyle.

What are the most effective media in reaching women?

The state uses a wide variety of media types to meet consumers where they are.  Pinterest has been a particularly effective medium because of the primary female audience.  But the state uses multiple media and tactics and is always open to new media.

Tell us about some of the most successful campaigns the state has executed?

Nekasha tells us about some of the popular campaigns such as the new Ken Burns Country Music documentary that highlighted so many places and people in Tennessee.   Some of the other campaigns Nekasha shared included a blockbuster promotion with Garth Brooks, a heartwarming viewfinder campaign that allowed colorblind state visitors to see Tennessee’s famous fall color and a promotion that featured kids reviewing and rating the best places to vacation.

What do you think that marketing needs to do to make messaging more relevant to women in the future?
Nekasha counsels marketers to “be personalized and relatable; basically targeted marketing. Have people on your marketing team that understand what you’re promoting and how that impacts or related to a female consumer. You need to have women on your marketing team – of all races, ages and various backgrounds so that their experiences are factored into your marketing strategies.”

Resources and Links

Tennessee State Tourism


Tennessee Tourism Adds New “Color Blind” Viewfinders

@IamNekasha on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram