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JANESVILLE

The Janesville area got a recent publicity boost when a travel writer won a national journalism award for a video he produced on all things Janesville.

Travel journalist Mike Shubic was honored for “best travel broadcast video” as part of the North American Travel Journalists Association’s 2017 Travel Media Awards, according to the Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The award was announced last week.

In December 2016, Shubic shot a holiday and winter-themed video touting late-year activities Janesville offers tourists.

Shubic, a travel journalist who has his own blog, “Mike’s Road Trip,” posted the video to his website and a slew of social media sites, including YouTube and Instagram. On Facebook, the video got 100,000 views, said Sue Melton, marketing director for the bureau.

Melton said she had linked up with Shubic at a travel journalism convention she attended to market this area to travel writers.

Shubic agreed to come to Janesville for several days during December 2016.

Among local holiday scenes he captured with his camera in a seven-minute video: poinsettia painting at K&W Greenery; Rotary Gardens’ Holiday Light Show; gift shopping at Voigt Music Center downtown; and holiday tours of the historic Wisconsin Wagon Company production facility, Lincoln-Tallman House in Janesville and the Milton House in Milton.

“He went on a whirlwind tour of the community. It so happened we had a picturesque snow while he was here. It worked out perfectly,” Melton said.

The video earned a top award from the North American Travel Journalists Association, which Melton called a “highly recognized organization” in the travel industry. The awards recognize the best travel writing and photography in news and travel magazines, travel websites and travel apps throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Shubic’s video beat a video submitted by USA Today’s travel section. Winners in other categories included travel journalists from The New York Times, Forbes and National Geographic Traveler, among other media, according to the contest’s website.

Shubic has produced videos through “Mike’s Road Trip” since 2010. His website says he is a former marketer who lost his home during the economic downturn and hit the road in a Ford F-150 truck to make travel films.

Shubic told Melton that he was able to track traffic to his site and through social media clicks, and he said the “Mike’s Road Trip” video on the Janesville area performed well.

The convention and visitors bureau paid for Shubic to spend several days in Janesville, and it paid him a “small fee” for his work on the video, Melton said.

She said the cost was significantly less than the bureau paid for a “Discover Wisconsin” television episode to be shot in Janesville.

Melton said the bureau over the last few years has begun to attend two travel journalism conventions a year. The conventions allow the Janesville tourism agency to pitch the area to travel writers, film makers and bloggers.

She said she has talked with three or four travel journalists who plan to visit Janesville this year. It could be months before their work comes out, Melton said, but each story gives the area more exposure to day travelers, vacationers and road trippers.

“We are going to continue to seeking them (travel journalists) out,” Melton said. “It’s just a good opportunity to spread the word about us and what we offer.”

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