And the Winner Is sign

Our Journey to the Adrian Awards

Last night, The Brandon Agency was pleased to accept the prestigious Adrian Award for our travel marketing work with the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. The honor is the result of our comprehensive public relations campaign for 2013 that focused primarily on media relations and positioned Beaufort, S.C., as a top travel destination within the Southeast. Here’s a peek behind the curtain on how we accomplished it, as well as the award-winning results we achieved for our client.

Our efforts included emphasis on obtaining national and regional exposure, leveraging key events, as well as the Southern town’s history and coastal setting. The campaign’s objective was to increase overall interest in Beaufort, S.C., as a travel destination. Our goals for this effort were to:

  1. Garner national and regional exposure for the city as a travel destination
  2. Leverage awards and honors for the city that resulted in media coverage

The target audience included the general consumer nationwide, as well as regional residents residing in Beaufort’s feeder drive markets.

We worked closely with Beaufort to determine target media outlets that would have the most value to tourism. They included:

  • Associated Press
  • USA Today
  • Southern Living
  • Coastal Living
  • The New York Times
  • The Charlotte Observer
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

We also conducted extensive research into what regional media members had a strong reach within the Southeastern market, as well as nationally. To this end, we determined that freelance travel writers/producers/bloggers outreach would play a significant role in the overall effort.

Throughout the campaign, we focused on these main media relation tactics:

  • Planned and hosted a spring media FAM in Beaufort, S.C.
  • Pitched and coordinated individual media visits to Beaufort, S.C.
  • Leveraged Coastal Living’s “America’s Happiest Seaside Town” list (Beaufort made it to the top five finalists and then was crowned the winner following an online voting period)
  • Leveraged TripAdvisor’s “Top U.S. Beaches” ranking (Beaufort’s Hunting Island beach was included)
  • Distributed selective news releases over wire distribution services to enhance visibility and SEO

By the end of 2013, our public relations results spoke for themselves, in regard to our success.

We reported coverage in several of our top tier national and regional targets, including:

  • USA Today
  • “Good Morning America”
  • “TODAY” Show
  • Coastal Living
  • Associated Press
  • Charlotte Observer
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • The News & Observer
  • The Post and Courier
  • Fox News

The momentum from 2013 also resulted in confirmed coverage for 2014 with Southern Living, HISTORY Channel and Smithsonian Magazine.

We also leveraged honors received from Coastal Living and TripAdvisor to garner additional national media coverage. After being named a finalist in Coastal Living’s “America’s Happiest Seaside Town” list, readers voted Beaufort, S.C. its No. 1 pick. The accolade was pitched to media outlets and additional coverage included: USA Today, “TODAY” show, Associated Press, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Fox News and ABC News.

Also, TripAdvisor’s readers named Beaufort’s Hunting Island beach a ‘Top U.S. Beach’ and the honor was covered by media outlets, such as Fox News, USA Today and Yahoo!.

Collectively, we tracked $3,487,145.84 in earned media coverage with 887,468,607 in impressions.

Overall, we’re very pleased with our efforts for Beaufort – as well as the results – and appreciative for this Adrian Award win. We beat out more than 1,200 other entrants and made a difference for our client, so we’re pretty proud!

Stay tuned to see what our team has in store for 2015!