Public Relations & International Tourism

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 Wake County 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.

Tradeshows and media missions

By hitting the road to take the Raleigh, N.C., message to key media marketplaces and missions in key markets—as well as sending electronic pitches to targeted media—the department pitched Raleigh area story ideas to journalists both domestically and abroad.

Proactive pitching

Wrote press releases and pitches distributed to strategically-targeted media outlets locally, regionally and nationally. Releases focused on topics ranging from new lodging, attractions and restaurants in Wake County to CVB accomplishments and key tourism industry performance indicators. They also showcased the role tourism plays in driving broader economic development, talent acquisition and providing job opportunities to the area.

Hosting media

Continued to engage mainstream travel outlets that consider Raleigh, N.C., an "undiscovered" destination with many new and 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 more than a dozen credentialed and working media from both domestic and international publications.

Earned media coverage

As a result of the media relations efforts mentioned above, the department was able to garner more than 470 earned media placements totaling 505.8 million impressions and stellar media coverage of the Raleigh area as a premier leisure, meeting and sports destination. Significant placements in national publications included Rolling Stone, USA TODAY, O, The Oprah Magazine, Southern Living, Eater, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Forbes, Reuters, Thrillist, Delta Sky, American Way, En Route and others. The media had some great things to say about Raleigh, N.C., this past year as well.

The department was able to leverage the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy to generate significant local media coverage on the value of the tourism industry across Wake County. Generating more than 40% more media coverage over the same time period last year, stories generated in March through June focused on the impact to jobs locally, how locals could support businesses during the pandemic and what businesses were doing to reopen safely.

International tourism initiatives

In its fourth year, the Public Relations and International Tourism Department aimed its international tourism efforts at growing foreign inpidual travel, specifically from three key international markets with direct daily flights—Canada, U.K. and France. Initiatives included one-on-one trainings with foreign tour operators who book inpidual 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 in partnership with Visit North Carolina in Canada, the U.K. and France, the team was able to meet with tour operators, receptives and media, establishing connections and fostering relationships in those key markets as well as other emerging markets and countries.

The department also executed the first Raleigh-specific media and trade mission overseas, holding events in the U.K. and France in partnership with Wake County Economic Development and Visit North Carolina.