Public Relations & International Tourism (2017-2018 Annual Report)

Public relations and international tourism 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 Raleigh, N.C., as destination of choice for leisure visitors, meetings and conventions as well as sporting events. Also worked with international tour operators and receptives to increase awareness of the area to foreign individual travelers.

Visiting media

Continued to engage with many mainstream travel outlets that consider Raleigh, N.C., an "undiscovered" destination with tons of new, exciting things happening. There is increased interest in Raleigh as a travel destination, and because of this, the Public Relations and International Tourism Department hosted 52 credentialed and working media from both domestic and international publications in fiscal year 2017-2018.

Outbound media initiatives

By hitting the road to take the Raleigh, N.C., message to key media marketplaces and missions in key markets, the department was able to pitch destination story ideas to more than 919 journalists domestically as well as in Canada, the U.K. and France.

International tourism summary

In its second year, the Public Relations and International Tourism Department aimed its international tourism efforts at growing foreign individual travel, specifically from three key international markets with direct daily flights—Canada, U.K. and France. Initiatives included one-on-one training 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 in-market media and trade missions organized by Visit North Carolina in Canada, the U.K. and France, the team was able to meet with more than 200 tour operators, establishing connections and fostering relationships in those key markets as well as other emerging markets/countries.

The department also executed the bureau’s first-ever consumer marketing campaign aimed at international visitors in Canada.

Media coverage

Garnered more than 264 earned media placements, totaling 518 million impressions and stellar media coverage of the Raleigh area as a premier leisure, meeting and sports destination. "Big hits" in national publications included Thrillist, Bon Appétit, USA TODAY, Travel and Leisure, The Toronto Star, The New York Times and others. The media had some great things to say about Raleigh, N.C., this past year as well.

News releases

Wrote a combined total of 55 press releases and pitches distributed to appropriate, targeted media outlets locally, regionally and nationally. Releases focused on topics ranging from Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau accomplishments and initiatives to tourism industry performance indicators to leisure marketing campaigns and culinary, family travel and outdoor adventure-based pitches.