2013-2014 Annual Report: Communications

Continued the strategy of emphasizing "quality versus quantity" during the 2013‒2014 fiscal year when hosting journalists in Greater Raleigh. The Communications Department welcomed 47 working and credentialed media to the area from publications including New York Post, Huffington Post, Men's Health, Toronto Sun, Instinct Magazine, USA TODAY, At Home Memphis and Mid South, Emerging Horizons and numerous free lances writing for print and online publications. A group press trip was held in conjunction with the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass week, where six national journalists attended the event as well as experienced the sights, flavors and sounds of the Raleigh area.

Attended the annual Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Convention, where the Raleigh area was pitched as a premier leisure, sports and meeting destination to more than 100 travel, food, lifestyle and family journalists. The department attended an invite-only media event in New York City for more than 65 national travel, lifestyle, food and arts media and a media reception and dinner in Washington, D.C., with more than 20 D.C.-based travel, food, lifestyle and cultural journalists.

Garnered stellar media coverage of the Raleigh area as a premier leisure, meeting and sports destination this year with "big hits" including stories in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Southern Living, Meetings Focus, Prevue, USA TODAY, Men's Health, AFAR, Smart Meetings, Associations Now and Toronto Sun among many others. More than $6.1 million in earned media coverage was garnered during the 2013‒2014 fiscal year, with $5 million coming from local, state, regional and national coverage of International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA's) World of Bluegrass events.

Wrote 25 news releases and distributed to appropriate, targeted media outlets locally, regionally and nationally. Releases focused on topics ranging from GRCVB accomplishments and initiatives to leisure marketing campaigns such as the "Greater Raleigh Beer Month" campaign. Worked hand-in-hand with members of the IBMA's Media Relations Local Organizing Committee to write numerous press releases, facilitate two press conferences and work with media to provide relevant story ideas on the event. Helped Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series public relations staff plan a local press conference and distribute press releases relating to Raleigh's inaugural event.

Proactively reached out to journalists covering a variety of segments including general travel, sports, meetings and conventions, GLBT, festivals, culinary, family and outdoors while continuing to foster current media relationships. Continued to contract the services of an independent public relations practitioner to assist with proactive media initiatives targeting top-tier national media in all markets.

Wrote editorial and feature articles for marketing programs including the Official Visitors Guide to Raleigh, Cary and Wake County, marketing programs including N.C. Beer Month, IBMA and a monthly feature column for The Rolesville Buzz, a community newspaper in northern Wake County.

Assisted numerous meeting and convention planners in local public relations efforts, including securing television interviews, placing feature stories and developing targeted media lists.


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