Selkirk’s Amanda enjoys her stint as new tourism radio star

THE dulcet Border tones of Selkirk resident Amanda Domin will soon be heard across the airwaves after she volunteered to lend her voice to a new promotional campaign by national tourism agency VisitScotland.

Married mum-of-two Amanda has worked for the organisation for the past 15 years and is currently an assistant campaign manager based at VisitScotland’s offices in Selkirk.

The major tourism radio campaign will be aired over the next two months. Amanda, who hails from Selkirk and has lived and worked all of her life in the region, was selected by the organisation to help broadcast the region’s tourism credentials to people living south of the border as part of VisitScotland’s local Explore Scotland campaign.

He friendly Borders accent will be used over a three-week period on English radio stations, Real Radio North East and Smooth Radio North East.

Amanda will be heard encouraging visitors to get active with walking on the Borders Abbey Way, view the world’s only silver staircase at Manderston House, enjoy scenic cycling routes and watch intriguing red squirrels and leaping spring salmon.

Amanda will “help point you in the right direction” and encourage listeners to log onto and request a destination guide.

The regional radio adverts, which promote a theme of natural wonders, are part of a wider print and online campaign developed by the national tourism agency for the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 and uses local voices for local flavour and authenticity.

Paula McDonald, regional director for VisitScotland, was delighted one of her own staff ended up having such a high-profile role in the new visitor strategy.

“For this particular Explore Scotland campaign that promotes the Scottish Borders this spring, we wanted people with their native tongue to highlight local places to visit during the Year of Natural Scotland,” she told us.

“Scotland has a range of interesting, local accents and this campaign very much targets people who are looking for ideas for a ‘staycation’ this year.

“We know from research that having an authentic experience and being offered value for money are two very important considerations for our visitors and that they enjoy hearing local accents, so Amanda was a perfect choice.”

For her part, Amanda says she found the whole experience of being involved with radio recording very exciting.

“I got involved after it was suggested to our team that someone might be suitable for recording one of these adverts for the radio,” Amanda told TheSouthern this week.

“The campaign uses the voices of ordinary people from all over Scotland to promote the different regions of the country.

“In the past we have tended to use professional voice actors for such campaigns, but this time it was felt local accents would be better and I think it will work really well.”

Amanda did the recording while in Edinburgh with her colleagues for a recent meeting. “There was staff members from all the different regions attending and the recording was done throughout the day.

“It was quite exciting – I didn’t think I’d be nervous! But technology has moved on so much it was really simple with the recordings being done using an iPhone.

“I did several takes until everyone was happy and that was it. Personally, I think it sounds really good.”

Amanda says she loves her job with VisitScotland, but the radio recording was enjoyable just for being something different.

“As I mainly have a desk job, it was really good to try my hand at something a little bit out of the ordinary from what I usually do and it let me see a different side of things.”

And she says she is confident the campaign will encourage more people to visit the region, saying: “I spoke about the beautiful countryside, about the silver staircase at Manderston, about salmon and red squirrels – so there was quite a lot in it!”