Elevating Awareness of Atlantic Canada in the United States
ACTP implements an integrated annual media relations strategy in the U.S. which concentrates efforts on the regular distribution of news releases, in-market media events, desk-side media appointments, media outreach and media trips to the region. Meredith Pillon Marketing Communications, ACTP’s in-market media relations firm, leads the activities on behalf of the partnership, building awareness for the authenticity and distinctiveness of an Atlantic Canada vacation and inspiring U.S. media to produce features in print publications, online travel sites and social media platforms.
Early in 2015, ACTP hosted 53 high quality media representing some of the most influential publications such as Travel + Leisure, Conde Naste Traveler and Food & Wine, at ACTP’s annual New York City media event. New York is ACTP’s most important media market and plans are currently underway for this year’s event which will take place on February 9, 2016. Representatives from the provinces will deliver top travel stories and promote 2016 visitation. The annual event keeps Atlantic Canada’s new developments and tourism attributes top-of-mind with key editorial decision makers and generates interest for story ideas and media trip planning for the year ahead. A full house is expected as our media event is one of the most coveted invites of the year. The event is relaxed and informative with great food and entertainment.
Meredith Pillon Marketing Communications assembled a very impressive set of media appointments in March of 2015 to cultivate productive working relationships and foster new ones. Media from publications such as the New York Times, Robb Report, Passport Magazine, Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and GoNomad.com met with the provinces to discuss story ideas and media trips.
According to ACTP’s United States Consumer Research conducted by TNS, when respondents were asked where they would look for information on travel to one or more of the Atlantic Provinces, 20% indicated articles and stories in magazines and newspapers. This demonstrates the importance of editorial coverage for leisure travelers.
Press trips are a critical component of the integrated media relations plan and continue to provide the best opportunity to generate earned media value. The culmination of various key tactics, secured more than 20 media trips during June to September which will produce valuable coverage for Atlantic Canada. In many cases, it may take a year or two for coverage to be realized as the lead time for print articles is significantly longer than online.
Substantial efforts have resulted in a media relations program generating solid returns. During the 2012-2015 agreement, the program generated $14.8 million in earned media value resulting in a return on investment of $35.02:1.