Lessons from The Big Easy
Tips for Today’s PR Pros
As our airport transportation neared the hotel it was clear this was not your average conference setting. Vacationers young and old spilled out of the bars onto the streets carrying oversized drinks to quench their thirst.
Abruptly our driver stopped and said, “Can’t go any further, Bourbon Street is closed to cars.” As the thermostat approached 100 degrees, we grabbed our bags and weaved through the crowds to check in to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) annual Travel and Tourism conference in New Orleans.
Held in an incredible city filled with history and culture, the conference featured travel writers, editors and destination marketing reps from across the country. After four days of keynote presentations, interactive discussion and networking (not to mention all the culinary creations and libations ones could want) I have three PR tips (and some fun ideas) to share:
1. Take the time to be creative and employ it in all you do.
new opportunities to reach your audience. In other words, play where your
competitors aren’t. For example, half of U.S. homes listen to podcasts. That’s
over 60 million homes (Nielsen Q3 2017 Podcast Insights) and advertising remains
very cost effective.
your resources to stretch your advertising budget. Create a co-op campaign with
similar businesses (who aren’t competitors) who can help extend your reach. For
example, smaller destinations can appeal to influencers or travelers looking to
visit an entire region or state.
bigger. How can you use your channels to support a charitable cause? In the
aftermath of the devastating Northern California wildfires, Visit California
honored first responders and supported the recovery with a “Grateful Table” event.
The fundraiser demonstrated the community’s resilience and tastefully shared
(pun intended) that the region was on the road to recovery.
2. Rely on the truth, don’t try to “overtell” your story.
who you are. JayRay helped Visit Kent—Washington’s most diverse
city (2017 WalletHub study)—highlight a local nonprofit helping immigrants and refugees
bring a taste of their culture to the community.
a new spin on something old. If your message or event isn’t unique, find a new
way to tell the story. In Old Forge Pennsylvania, local pizza has a style and
flavor all its own. Carving out a unique identity in pizza resulted in national
coverage in USA Today.
3. Think about how your product or service affects people.
emotion to tell the story. JayRay helped the Tacoma South Sound Sports
Commission connect with the sports community by finding and sharing the story
of sports “ambassadors.” Each ambassador contributes to the local sports
culture and is an inspiration for the community.
communication lessons have you collected on your travels this year? Tweet us