Public Relations (2016-2017 Annual Report)
Public relations summary
Worked directly with local, domestic and international media pitching story ideas, hosting press trips and responding to inquiries in order to garner positive editorial coverage for Wake County as destination of choice for leisure visitors, meetings and conventions as well as sporting events.
Continued to engage many mainstream travel outlets that consider Raleigh, N.C., a destination with many new, exciting things happening and that is "undiscovered." There is increased interest in Raleigh as a travel destination, and because of this, the Public Relations Department hosted 18 credentialed and working media from publications including Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, USA TODAY, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and numerous others. In addition to individual media visits, a family travel-themed group media tour was hosted. The Public Relations Department also hosted Canadian, French and U.K. media group tours in partnership with the Economic Development Partnership of N.C.'s Visit North Carolina public relations team.
Outbound media initiatives
Hit the road to take the Raleigh, N.C., message to key media markets and industry conferences. The department was able to pitch Raleigh story ideas to more than 253 journalists domestically as well as in Canada, the U.K. and France.
International tourism summary
Oversaw the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau's (CVB's) new initiative to grow international visitation. In its first year, the program aimed efforts at growing foreign individual travel, specifically from three key international markets with direct daily flights—Canada, U.K. and France. Initiatives include one-on-one trainings with foreign tour operators who book individual travel as well as hosting tour operators for familiarization trips. Through attending two key tradeshows, IPW and Travel South International as well as a trade missions organized by Visit North Carolina in Canada, the team was able to meet with 155 tour operators in the first year, establishing connections and fostering relationships in those key markets. The department also hosted three operators from the U.K.
Garnered more than 300 earned media placements totaling 331.2 million impressions and stellar media coverage of the Raleigh area as a premier leisure, meeting and sports destination. "Big hits" in national publications included Men's Health, USA TODAY, Travel + Leisure, Toronto Star, AAA, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and others.
Wrote a combined total of 91 press releases and pitches distributed to appropriate, targeted media outlets locally, regionally and nationally. Releases focused on topics ranging from CVB accomplishments and initiatives to tourism industry performance indicators to leisure marketing campaigns and culinary, family travel and outdoor adventure-based pitches.
Public relations partnering
Served as a co-chair for the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass media relations committee and member of the Wake County Economic Development Public Relations Committee. Throughout the year, assisted multiple meeting and sports organizations and planners on public relations best practices for securing local media coverage of their respective events.