Macon is the second-place finalist for Friendliest City in America in Rand McNallys Best of the Road contest.
Voting has ended, but Macon boosters can still influence the outcome through social media before a winner is announced Oct. 7.
How do you spell friendliest city? M-A-C-O-N, Mayor Robert Reichert said Thursday afternoon at City Hall.
He urged people to keep participating through the contests Facebook group, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest by tagging pictures, videos and comments with #bestoftheroad or posting on the contest website, www.bestoftheroad.com. Everything submitted through Sept. 27 will be considered, along with a city-produced video endorsement, city Public Affairs Director Chris Floore said.
Social media has a huge, huge impact in all of this, Floore said.
Rand McNally, Good Sam Club and Geocaching are sponsoring the annual Best of the Road: Best Small Towns in America competition. There are six categories: Most Beautiful, Most Fun, Most Patriotic, Friendliest, Best Food and Best for Geocaching.
According to the results posted at www.bestoftheroad.com, Kewanee, Ill., is in the lead of the Friendliest City category with 2,284 votes. Macon is second with 616, votes, followed by Bradenton, Fla., with 543; Murray, Ky., with 361; and Keokuk, Iowa, with 336.
Peachtree City is the only other Georgia town named as a finalist. Its in second place as Best for Geocaching.
The winner of each category will get:
trial license to the Rand McNally Best Town Travels digital planning guide, developed for CVB sites and as an iPhone application;
an editorial feature in the annual Rand McNally road atlas, plus 50,000 automatic clicks promoting the area on maps.randmcnally.com;
inclusion on RV trip planners as a point of interest, and coverage on www.bestoftheroad.com.
Macons showing follows a win in Benjamin Moores Paint What Matters contest, also driven by online votes. It shows area residents can respond to calls for a social media campaign, Floore said.
Reichert said people should post pictures and video of Maconites laughing, talking, shaking hands, welcoming new visitors.
According to Rand McNally, this category, Friendliest City, is all about people. And according to contest voters, the folks in these towns go the distance to take care of one another, and make visitors feel immediately at home, he said. Theyre also dedicated to community service projects that ensure a great quality of life and celebrate civic pride and history.
The Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau is very excited about Macons chances, said Jonathan Andre, chairman of the CVB board and general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn. Anything that will get interstate travelers to stop and stay in Macon is a plus, he said.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.