Crisis Communications in Estes Park
They called it the “1000-Year Flood.” In September 2013, northern and central Colorado faced torrential downpour and extreme flooding. One of the worst hit spots was Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and a TURNER client. How can a destination that relies heavily on tourism deal with a nationally covered crisis of this magnitude … and come out of it stronger than ever?
What We Did
During the crisis, TURNER served as the primary spokespeople for Estes Park:
- We ran social media channels, responding to inquiries and gathering and distributing information to media and the public.
- We created talking points that were shared by the destination marketing office, shareholders and Turner PR.
- We also distributed media alerts, along with a media list of local and regional print and broadcast news for immediate outreach.
Post-flood, TURNER worked to show that Estes Park was on the road to recovery by:
- Ensuring that the open route to town was prominently featured in messaging (via written directions and a Google map linked in all media communications;
- Encouraging media to participate in a show of support via social media with the hashtag, #MountainStrong.
During and immediately following the floods, TURNER garnered top national and regional coverage including an NBC Nightly News segment, The Denver Post, Mountain Living, and more. Post-flood efforts have been equally successful, with coverage in Front Range publications including The Denver Business Journal, Colorado Parent, Mountain Magazine, Elevation Outdoors and more, in turn, driving visitation and aiding in the town’s economic recovery. With Rocky Mountain National Park’s 100th anniversary in full swing, Estes Park’s future looks bright.