FEATURED WORK Blasting Off With Houston For The 50th Anniversary Of The First Moon Landing
Fifty years ago, Houston etched its place in history as the epicenter for innovation when Neil Armstrong took his first step onto the moon and stated “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” The creative PR teams at Visit Houston and TURNER recognized there was an opportunity to develop an out-of-this-world integrated campaign (with a thoroughly down-to-earth budget) for the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.
Tupelo, Mississippi, is synonymous with one mega-star: Elvis Presley. The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was born in the city in 1935, and over the years, Tupelo has become a must-visit for music lovers the world over. But Tupelo is more than Elvis — much more. For one thing, it’s a culinary hot spot with a deep south food heritage, offering visitors an array of flavorful experiences and unique eateries. In order to revitalize the city and attract a new, younger audience (some of whom might not even be familiar with Elvis), TURNER set about establishing Tupelo’s reputation as an emerging culinary destination.
What We Did
After researching current foodie trends, TURNER focused on building awareness of culinary stories that are truly unique to this lesser-known destination through pitching and hosting targeted media. For instance, did you know: that Tupelo honey isn’t from Tupelo BUT Mississippi’s first and only meadery is? Or that the best loaded BBQ baked potatoes you’ll ever have will be found inside a still operating bait and tackle shop?
Elvis remained a good hook, of course. We leveraged Tupelo’s Presley roots, putting together an Elvis-inspired culinary guide on Pinterest featuring F&B spots with highly visual tributes to “The King” and menu items that offer a twist on his favorite peanut butter and banana food combination. The PR campaign was threaded through social media with an “Eat Like a King” #FoodieFriday initiative, complete with an accompanying landing page of Elvis-themed eats.
To continue building momentum, TURNER pulled together a “Taste of Tupelo” gift box mailed to select writers. This allowed us to break through the clutter of email and allow real-time samplings of culinary creations inspired by the destination’s iconic history and hometown hero (such as Neon Pig’s bacon jam for holiday gift guide opportunities).
Awareness of Tupelo as a top emerging culinary destination – which was created entirely through the 12-month media relations campaign – exceeded expectations. TURNER’s efforts generated more than 43 articles about Tupelo’s culinary scene in 2019, including food-centric feature stories in Food & Wine and Forbes. Additionally, Budget Travel named Tupelo as a “best southern food city you haven’t tasted yet.” Collectively, the coverage earned more than 188,707,346 impressions.
Tourism tax revenue in Tupelo soared to a 12.95 percent increase in 2019, nearly quadrupling the average year-over-year increase (doubling our initial goal) and hit over $5 million in tourism tax collection for the first time in history. Similarly, the Tupelo Regional Airport saw a 22 percent increase of ticketed passengers in 2019 from 2018, indicating an increase in visitation to the destination. As a result, Contour Airlines — the sole airline at Tupelo Regional Airport — expanded from a 19-passenger plane to a 30-passenger jet in 2019 to accommodate the increased demand.
Now more than ever, factors that drive visitors to choose a destination are also influencing where business executives, entrepreneurs and students retreat to work remotely. Bermuda is uniquely suited to meet the demands of each of these audiences in a world that has rapidly changed in the face of Covid-19. To address this growing need, Bermuda introduced the Work from Bermuda Certificate, allowing executives and students to work and study remotely from the island in a stunning and worry-free environment.
For just a $263 application fee per person, the new incentive allows travelers to move to the island for a year while working remotely. The program also includes the flexibility to travel back and forth seamlessly and to bring the family along as well. There, kids can experience Bermuda’s culture and natural beauty, while still being able to stay on top of their schoolwork back home.
What We Did
TURNER knew that other destinations (particularly in the Caribbean) were planning similar campaigns in order to attract digital nomads and their families. That meant that standing out from the pack was essential when promoting the Work From Bermuda program.
- In all of the materials we distributed to media, we highlighted Bermuda’s successful COVID-19 strategy, which resulted in the island becoming one of the most successful countries in the world at controlling the virus and testing per capita, reopening to visitors in July with responsible health-and-safety measures in place.
- TURNER also highlighted how easily accessible Bermuda is from most major East Coast U.S. airports — just a 90-minute nonstop from New York, with direct flights from other East Coast gateway cities, London and Toronto. This also gave us an opportunity to highlight the island’s new airport terminal, scheduled to open in late 2020.
- Bermuda’s sturdy international business infrastructure puts it head-and-shoulders above many other similar destinations, and we made sure to emphasize this point of difference in our outreach, especially when pitching more business-related publications and media.
The response to the Work from Bermuda program went beyond expectations. More than 160 articles were generated about the program alone, resulting in 1,801,423,094 impressions, while organic coverage resulted in an additional 224,025,731 impressions. Coverage included hits in top-tier publications such as The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, as well as an array of broadcast segments, and positioned Bermuda as one of the top destinations to consider for a remote working year. Over half the articles featured at least one of the differentiating factors, highlighting Bermuda as a key destination for digital nomads.
Media events and FAM trips have had to rapidly evolve during the pandemic. But there are still creative (and even fun) ways to reach journalists and influencers in the virtual space. Case in point: a recent National Cheese Day online event that TURNER put together with our partners at Travel Wisconsin and the Dairy Farmers of America — the Destination: Cheesecation Experience.
What We Did
More than 30 media, representing 90+ outlets, received a curated Cheesecation delivery, before virtually arriving at Destination: Cheesecation from their at-home setting for an elevated cheese tasting tour. The mailing included a selection of Wisconsin’s best cheeses, pairing accoutrements in a branded Cheesecation travel pouch, custom “Cheese is Life” t-shirts to wear during the tour and an original 12-page Wisconsin Passport to Pairings Guide, showcasing the different cheeses and Wisconsin regions.
Tour guides, Wisconsin Cheese and Travel Wisconsin virtually transported media to coveted cheese caves, beautiful dairy farms and meetings with expert cheesemakers and more.
Interactive surprises were featured throughout the “trip” for optimal engagement. Polls, custom video footage, and a souvenir gift shop experience transformed the virtual event into
Something truly memorable, showcasing award winning Wisconsin cheese and key tourist attractions across the state. To conclude, media attendees proudly showed off their completed Wisconsin cheese boards during a “Say Cheese!” tour group photo moment.
After the event, media were sent their choice of Wisconsin souvenir (including cocktail kits, candles and tea towels) as a follow-up and thank you.
Attendees included representatives from Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, USA Today, Good Morning America, the New York Times and many more. These members of the media loved sharing their Cheesecation experiences on social media both before, during and after the event, generating 1.3 million impressions, 68 Instagram story frames and eight in-feed Instagram posts.
Travel influencers and content creators had a tough time in 2020. But there were still opportunities for destinations to work closely — from afar — with travel influencers via smart digital strategies.
Early on during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, TURNER and Discover South Carolina developed a virtual influencer campaign that highlighted recipes for one of the state’s signature dishes: pimento cheese.
What We Did
It was important to get rolling as soon as possible. On March 16, 2020, just five days after the lockdown began, Discover South Carolina and TURNER had a plan in motion. We secured four locally based influencers to make a South Carolina recipe at home and promote it on their channels, shining a light on the state’s iconic cuisine and recipe offering.
We chose Pimento Cheese, a beloved South Carolina staple, as the recipe for this campaign for its deliciousness and simplicity. It only requires three ingredients (at the time, there was a massive grocery store run/shortage on supplies), it’s easy to make, and it can be enjoyed in so many ways – on crackers, sandwiches, burgers, you name it. By highlighting an easy (but still extremely satisfying) recipe, the campaign would earn higher engagement and view-through rates.
We selected four local influencers, keeping in mind that the first phases of travel would require closer-to-home road trips. Importantly, influencers were from different parts of the state to capture a wider reach of the target audience.
Discover South Carolina sent a package to each influencer containing Duke’s Mayonnaise (because it’s made in South Carolina, of course), a jar of pimentos and a recipe card. Influencers were only responsible for purchasing cheddar cheese.
We encouraged influencers to get creative with their pimento cheese. This offered followers authenticity and personality. Some added their favorite ingredients to the mix, such as jalapenos. Others used Pimento cheese as a sandwich filling, or as a spread on a BLT.
Despite the challenging circumstances, the campaign was a success. It boosted awareness for SC as a culinary destination and inspiring future travel. In just two short weeks – ending March 31, 2020 – Discover South Carolina completed the Pimento Cheese campaign with stellar results.
Content produced included 21 Instagram stories and four static posts: two static, one carousel and one video. Each was filled with Pimento cheesy-goodness, promoting South Carolina’s cuisine.
The numbers exceeded expectations. The campaign reached 66.9k followers, received 24.7k impressions and 2,346 engagements which resulted in an engagement rate of 3.51 percent (2 percent being the industry average).
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Viceroy Snowmass is a year-round playground. Its array of natural assets put it head and shoulders above other alpine escapes. TURNER took things to a higher level with several custom seasonal programs that pleased guests and earned media coverage.
Developing a Custom Biking Program
Viceroy Snowmass is surrounded on all sides by some of the best trails in the west and world-renowned, often car-free climbs. It culminates in unreal scenic areas like the famed Maroon Bells, Independence Pass and historic Ashcroft Ghost Town. But the hotel hadn’t capitalized on these natural assets. To change that, TURNER developed a cycling program. We used the property’s culinary team, spa and off-site catering capabilities, and built a targeted media list, promoting the program via proactive pitching and individual media hosting opportunities. TURNER devised every detail in this PR and program, ensuring that Viceroy Snowmass was positioned as the ultimate resort for high-end cyclists.
TURNER introduced former Pro Cyclist Will Frischkorn (Team Garmin/Tour de France rider) to lead rides directly from the hotel. Will personally guides guests while regaling them with stories of insanely hard race days on the bike and rewarding wins in between. After retiring, Frischkorn opened Cured in Boulder, a purveyor of fine worldly cheeses, wines, meats and accouterments. On day two he organized a full spread of restorative fare, and guests dine in the shadows of Montezuma Basin at the top of Castle Creek, one of Aspen’s most famous road climbs.
Elevated Ski-In / Ski-Out Offerings
Viceroy Snowmass boasts a location at the base of one of the world’s finest ski mountains. It is also home to a 7,000-square-foot spa, widely considered the preeminent spa in the area. TURNER brought these two first-in-class experiences closer together by developing an elevated selection of reinvigorating Ski-In / Ski-Out spa offerings.
TURNER collaborated closely with Viceroy Snowmass’ team to design 30-minutes-or-less spa treatments. Each invigorated guests to get back out on the slopes and finish the day. Treatments included:
- Kick Off Your Boots: A warm bath of Sweet Birch sea salts, and a hot stone and reflexology foot massage.
- Warm Up Your Hands and Toes: This hydrating hand and foot therapy starts with warm Concreta. It offers conditioning and protection for hands and feet.
TURNER’s long lead efforts resulted in a wide cross-section of coverage from an array of print and digital outlets. These included Redbook Magazine, Town & Country Magazine and The Associated Press. TURNER’s work resulted in 186 articles and 492,720,118 impressions. Finally, the new program delivered a measurable increase in revenue, with a 10 percent increase in overall bookings.
It’s one of nature’s greatest spectacles – the world’s largest sandhill crane migration brings more than 80 percent of the world’s population of sandhill cranes to the heart of Nebraska. But the event has flown largely under the radar… until 2018. In collaboration with Nebraska Tourism and the state’s central region DMOs, TURNER targeted top media to attend the March 2018 migration, giving the event the national attention it deserves.
WHAT WE DID
In tandem with proactive pitching efforts, TURNER invited some of our favorite writers, editors and content producers to experience the migration in person – on both group and individual trips. We promised them an unforgettable journey, referred to by Jane Goodall as the world’s best animal migration second to the Serengeti wildebeests, and delivered. While the trip focused on the crane migration, it also showcased some of Central Nebraska’s best attractions, activities and personalities.
Attendees included media representing:
- Red Tricycle, The Daily Meal, Modern Luxury
- Mother Nature Network
- Hemispheres, 5280, Denver Post, Outside
- National Geographic print and video production
- Associated Press
- Expert-led crane viewing experiences that took media to the largest Sandhill Crane roost on the Platte River, where they spent time with biologists/scientists/farmers who shared insights into the science and the mystery of the crane migration and the river’s unique ecosystem.
- A private wing sauce-making lesson with Fire Captain Todd Morgan, who turned his tailgating hobby of making wing sauce into the wildly popular and world-renowned Sparky’s Wing & Dipping Sauce.
- Crane-themed paint and sip lesson in Hastings, NE.
- A day in Kearney, NE, including a visit to The Archway, flights of beer on brewery tours and more.
- Photography bling crane viewing experience at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center.
- Overnight accommodations and VIP sunset blind viewing experience at the Crane Trust.
Our results really took off.
- Feature article & video on National Geographic: Generated 26+ million UMV, 68 million on social reach and 20K+ views of the 5+ minute video.
- Feature coverage on Mother Nature Network: Generated 4.7+ million UMV and 1+ million on social.
- Feature story on Nebraska in Thrillist: Included the crane migration as the “best time to visit Nebraska, other than football season,” reaching more than 11 million UMVs.
- Best Places to Travel in March on Thrillist: Included Central Nebraska as one of the best places to travel to in in the world for March, specifically for the crane migration.
- Best Places to Travel in March on Travel + Leisure: Featured Central Nebraska and the crane migration for a March travel destination recommendation to its 3 million+ UMVs and nearly three million Facebook followers.
- More to come: In addition to the short-lead coverage above, we anticipate a number of long-lead stories to appear in advance of the 2019 migration including Hemispheres, Modern Luxury and Associated Press.
It’s a little-known fact that Toronto is one of the world’s most diverse cities, with more than 50 percent of the population born outside of Canada and 230 different nationalities represented. A lot of great things come out this multicultural mix – including, of course, an amazing and ever-expanding culinary scene, with authentic flavors blending with innovative kitchen techniques. TURNER wanted to put the spotlight on this fantastic dining scene in Toronto (which, by the way, is priced much more affordably than in other major metropolises). Watch out, NYC – there’s a new global foodie destination on the rise.
WHAT WE DID
The TURNER travel team immersed itself in Toronto’s food world, exploring the city’s five Chinatowns, two Little Italys, Little Portugal, Little India and beyond, along with visits to many hot restaurants and bars. As a result, we became experts on the scene, ready to spread the word to key media.
TURNER targeted writers and editors at national travel magazines, travel sections in major national magazines and food-related publications – the kinds of people we knew couldn’t ignore the diverse tastes of Toronto. We organized several individual press trips for media from an array of trendsetting outlets, taking them to the tried-and-true Toronto foodie favorites in addition to lesser-known neighborhood hotspots.
It was love at first bite for everyone involved. Bloomberg Pursuits highlighted Toronto on their “Where to Go in 2017” list, noting not to overlook their dining scene and mentions a couple top choices. Canada made Refinery29’s unforgettable trips for 2017, suggesting Toronto’s amazing food scene for those who would rather explore their palette (rather than the mountains). Tasting Table put together a guide to the not-to-be-missed restaurants and bars in TO, including drool-worthy photos from their trip. And Forbes discovered experiential side of Toronto’s food world with The Culinary Adventure Company’s walking and tasting tour of Chinatown and Kensington Market in a round up of the world’s best food tours.
Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, which opened in November 2016, marked the boutique company’s first foray into the international luxury resort realm. Located on Grand Cayman’s famed Seven Mile Beach, Seafire Resort + Spa is a welcome (and hotly anticipated) addition to an island that hasn’t seen new development in more than a decade.
The opening coincided with the start of the highly seasonal Caribbean peak travel period, requiring TURNER to generate a steady drumbeat of pre-opening press coverage, complemented by a post-launch blitz of top-tier placements in national U.S. and Canadian media outlets.
WHAT WE DID
In the months leading up to Seafire Resort + Spa’s opening, TURNER developed a highly targeted media list for pitching and invitation purposes, with carefully crafted messaging, speaking to specific media angles that aligned with the property’s muse and positioning. Through a series of interviews with Seafire’s design, F&B and resort teams we developed fact sheets, as well as briefs that formed the basis of pitching.
TURNER also helped coordinate sneak peeks of the “Seafire Experience,” including:
- A James Beard House dinner for NYC-based journalists and influencers to showcase the resort’s culinary offerings alongside other select Kimpton chefs
- On-island dinner pop-ups for members of the media (local and U.S.) highlighting Seafire’s diverse F&B offerings (resulting in coverage in Islands, Destination Weddings and Honeymoons)
- Hard hat tours of the property, giving journalists a look at the work-in-progress (resulting in coverage in Travel + Leisure, Robb Report, Caribbean Journal and more)
With the potential of a sliding opening date (based on the unique nature of international permitting and the coincidence of a major U.S. presidential election in the same time frame), we crafted a flexible launch strategy to ensure coverage in key outlets. TURNER coupled a tailored, hands-on introduction to national U.S. media with a series of influencer hostings. In lieu of an expensive, large-scale activation, intimate events thoughtfully introduced the property to targeted island media and influencers.
Especially notable was TURNER’s un-missable Seafire opening announcement, including a Cobblestone cocktail, a shaker and glass, and a recipe card, which was hand-delivered to 25 key journalists and editors. Additionally, a no-frills opening release was distributed via PR Newswire, with a potential audience of 88.2 million.
Millennial social media powerhouse Casey McPerry joined Seafire for the opening, and agreed to prominently feature the resort without charging his regular fee. In addition to providing the property with a set of incredible images for their unlimited use, Casey’s social postings generated a quarter of a million impressions and saw the Seafire brand averaging almost 30K impressions per post. His Instagram Stories ranged from 4-5K views per post.
As a result of TURNER’s efforts, Kimpton was firmly established in the international luxury market, providing a template for future brand launches worldwide. Our targeted opening press release resulted in pick-ups from national outlets such as Yahoo Finance, Market Watch and The Street, as well as the leading business journals and dailies in major metro markets.
Working closely with a contributing editor at Architectural Digest, Seafire garnered an online feature during opening week, and other key publications featured Seafire shortly after opening, including Food & Wine and Bridal Guide (print) as well as trade publications such as HotelBusiness, Travel Weekly and Travel Agent. Other key publications featured Seafire shortly after opening, including Food & Wine and Bridal Guide (print) as well as trade publications such as HotelBusiness, Travel Weekly and Travel Agent.
Immediately following Seafire’s opening, TURNER’s efforts continued, including helping to place the resort as Caribbean Journal’s Caribbean Hotel of the Year in its Travel Awards 2016, and accolades with Travel + Leisure, ranking amongst its acclaimed “It List” of the “Best New Hotels in the World.”
Renowned outfitter Fjällräven has its origins in Sweden, but the brand has deep roots in Colorado as well – and it wanted TURNER to help strengthen those roots. So we turned to the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa, one of the state’s premiere Rocky Mountain escapes, for an inspired collaboration: the Backpack Concierge Program.
WHAT WE DID
Fjällräven’s premium, sustainable backpacks are sturdy and stylish – and perfect for Rocky Mountain explorations. To take advantage of Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s abundant outdoor adventure opportunities, TURNER and Fjällräven implemented a Backpack Concierge Program at the resort for the 2016 summer season. Hotel guests had the option to borrow a Kaipak or RUCKSACK NO. 21 MEDIUM through the resort to use on local hiking trails during their stay. The backpacks came stocked with “Local Secrets” cards, custom-designed by Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s team, filled with tips on places to go and things to see, from hidden hot springs to dog-friendly hikes.
It was almost inevitable that guests would fall in love with their Fjällräven gear – so the program made it easy to take the next step. Those who participated in the program received a 10 percent discount towards future Fjällräven purchases.
To get the word out about the Backpack Concierge Program, a personalized package was sent to 14 editors in the travel and outdoor spaces. Each kit included a Rucksack No. 21 Medium, a reusable water bottle, sunscreen, trail snacks and a custom guide to outdoor recommendations near the resort.
The program was a hit with both media and guests, strengthening Fjällräven’s presence in Colorado and bolstering Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s reputation as a resort with out-of-the-ordinary summer offerings. TURNER’s outreach efforts resulted in coverage from Afar, Luxury Travel, Town and Country, Country Living and MSN.com.
Located in the heart of a booming downtown and just a few blocks from the Colorado Convention Center, the new Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Denver/Downtown was poised to make a big splash in the Mile High City market.
But there was a challenge: the mid-range, dual branded property shared an opening date with a much-hyped airport hotel expansion in the same city, and came on the heels of numerous other development announcements. So TURNER set about ensuring that Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Denver/Downtown’s launch stood out.
WHAT WE DID
With a central location, a competitive pricing point, carefully curated local art and Colorado craft beer on tap, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House Denver/Downtown offered a quintessential Denver experience, so TURNER’s pre-opening public relations efforts focused on trade publications, the local market and a national spotlight.
- We arranged a sneak peek tour for Ed Sealover, an influential Denver Business Journal writer. We also hosted five local media at the property.
- We secured a partnership with the locally based company, Icelantic Skis, including exclusively commissioned, ski-specific art installations for the hotel, as well as an giveaway for Winter on the Rocks, an annual concert at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
The TURNER team successfully planned and executed a grand opening media event that was strategically timed to showcase the hotels’ incredible location in the city and vantage point for viewing special city-wide events. The team confirmed 15 media, contributing to local and national outlets, to attend the event.
- We positioned the property as an example of the burgeoning regionalism design movement, where the surrounding local culture is integrated in the hotel design from the ground up.
- We created a signature Colorado Campfire Sour cocktail, using local ingredients and tying in the property’s regionalism design influence, to bring a western flair to the property during the height of the iconic annual Denver Stock Show in January.
TURNER’s six-month campaign delivered nearly 30 articles, published in a wide range of publications, with impressions climbing to more than 132 million. Highlighting the properties’ downtown centric location, just a couple blocks from the convention center, TURNER secured editorial coverage in group business, industry trade and consumer outlets (local and national). Coverage highlights included a trend-oriented story in The New York Times with a quote from the hotel GM; a feature on the dual-branded property in AFAR; and a feature story with accompanying video sneak peek preview, including an interview with the GM, in the Denver Business Journal among others.
- AC Hotel Austin
- Albuquerque CVB
- Allegro Hotels
- Aloft Austin Downtown
- Audley Travel
- Barceló Bávaro
- Barceló Hotel Group
- Barceló Maya
- Bermuda Tourism Authority
- Discover South Carolina
- Element Austin Downtown
- Grand Hotel
- Hertz Europe
- Hilton Downtown Miami
- Hyatt Centric Portland
- Hyatt Regency Portland
- Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa
- Le Méridien Denver
- Marriott Austin Downtown
- Naia Resort & Spa
- Occidental Hotels & Resorts
- Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
- Provenance Hotels
- REI Adventures
- Resorts World Bimini
- Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
- Royal Hideaway Playacar Resort
- Tennessee Tourism
- The Clancy
- The Lodge at Chaa Creek
- The Otis Hotel Austin
- The Rally
- Toronto Tourism
- Travel Wisconsin
- Unique Hotels of Belize
- Viceroy Snowmass
- Victoria House Resort & Spa
- Visit Baltimore
- Visit Cheyenne
- Visit Estes Park
- Visit Hamilton County
- Visit Houston
- Visit Nebraska
- Visit South Walton
- Visit Tupelo
- Westin Austin