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Kristian Sonnier Director of Public Relations P E T E R M A Y E R A D V E R T I S I N G, N E W O R L E A N S.

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Presentation on theme: "Kristian Sonnier Director of Public Relations P E T E R M A Y E R A D V E R T I S I N G, N E W O R L E A N S."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kristian Sonnier Director of Public Relations P E T E R M A Y E R A D V E R T I S I N G, N E W O R L E A N S

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3 HURRICANE KATRINA + LOUISIANA TOURISM >> How Hurricane Katrina, research and public attitudes heavily influenced the design and strategy of Louisiana's tourism marketing campaigns. Association for Conservation Information Conference 20093

4 2005 LOUISIANA TOURISM >> Our charge this year was to highlight Louisiana’s “authentic culture.” >> Louisiana is a vacation destination that offers a variety of cultural heritage & eco-cultural experiences you can’t get anywhere else. (We’re authentic, unlike a Disney theme park.) “Louisiana oozes culture.” >> 2005 was shaping up to be another record year for Louisiana tourism. 4

5 Association for Conservation Information Conference LOUISIANA TOURISM >> We targeted “culture seekers” and “nature lovers” who are interested in: Cajun, Creole and Indigenous peoples’ heritage / cultural institutions / museums and galleries / design and architecture / folk and traditional art / literature and publishing / music and nightlife / archeology / culinary arts / eco-cultural tourism 5

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14 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 AUG 2005 KATRINA HITS 14

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16 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 AUG 2005 KATRINA HITS >> Peter Mayer Advertising has an emergency plan. >> We open 2 temporary offices in Baton Rouge LA and Monroe LA. >> After a few weeks, with permission, we are able to get into the city to retrieve computers, files, office equipment, etc… 16

17 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 SEPT 2005 KATRINA HITS ISSUES WE FACED: >> The public is being bombarded with images of an unprecedented disaster. >> In-state, some areas were unsafe and inaccessible. >> Out-of-state, the national media created the impression that Louisiana was devastated, had no viable tourist attractions and was closed for business. 17

18 Phase 1 Public Relations Centralized PR team in Shreveport Strategized with Florida state tourism communicators Created daily news digest - distributed to industry leaders and dispelled rumors Deflected negative news by pitching “hero” stories

19 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 SEPT 2005 RESEARCH PEOPLE THOUGHT: >> … Louisiana was not open for business. >> … hotel options were limited and hotel prices were high. >> … some areas were still under water. >> … some areas were unsafe. >> … concern about future hurricanes/bad weather. >> … New Orleans, a primary vacation destination, was damaged. >> … there were better values elsewhere. 19

20 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 SEPT 2005 REBIRTH PLAN >> We worked with the state to build the “Rebirth Plan.” 1) Communicate to in-state and out-of-state tourists that the state (not New Orleans) is open for business. 2) Create a positive perception of Louisiana as a desirable vacation destination. 3) Restore tourists visitation and spending to Pre-Katrina/Rita levels. 20

21 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 SEPT 2005 REBIRTH PLAN Phase 1 In-State Advertising “Your Own” >> Ads encouraged residents to rediscover areas within the state. This strategy allowed for day trips, not far from home, or overnight stays with friends and relatives. This was the first critical step to helping sites and attractions generate revenue immediately following the hurricanes. 21

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25 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 OCT/NOV 2005 REBIRTH PLAN Phase 2 In-State Advertising “Fall In Love” >> Once additional hotel rooms became available, messaging invited visitors to “Fall In Love With Louisiana All Over Again” – a message we knew through research would resonate with our audience. It also helped to maintain top-of-mind awareness during this transition period. 25

26 Phase 2 Public Relations Continued daily news digest - distributed to industry leaders and dispelled rumors Continued deflecting negative news by pitching “hero” stories Unified LA’s travel industry to speak with one voice Established media center in New Orleans Encouraged imbedded media to tell the story of what was undamaged statewide

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30 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 EARLY 2006 REBIRTH PLAN Phase 3 Out-Of-State Advertising “Fall In Love - Celeb” >> By 2006, although a year had passed since the hurricanes, consumers’ lack of knowledge continued to hurt the tourism industry. Many believed that the state was not fully functioning, and as a result felt that there were better values elsewhere. Due to Louisiana’s poor national perception, our messaging needed an edge to get noticed. 30

31 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 EARLY 2006 REBIRTH PLAN Phase 3 Out-Of-State Advertising “Fall In Love - Celeb” >> National celebrities from Louisiana were used to achieve stopping power, extend visibility and give assurance that Louisiana was still a great vacation destination. Celebrities also captured the attention of fans and served as credible, third-party spokespersons. 31

32 Association for Conservation Information Conference REBIRTH PLAN Phase 3 Out-Of-State Advertising “Fall In Love - Celeb” >> The design: portraits in Louisiana with a travel postcard theme. The postcard are a personal invitation for travelers to come experience, and again fall in love with, Louisiana. John Goodman / Emeril Lagasse / Patricia Clarkson Wynton Marsalis / Tim McGraw / George Rodrigue Allen Toussaint / David Toms 32

33 Phase 3 Public Relations Continued daily news digest - distributed to industry leaders and dispelled rumors Continued deflecting negative news by pitching “hero” stories Continued speaking with one voice Continued encouraging imbedded media to tell the story of what was working statewide

34 Phase 3 Public Relations Reported accurate damage assessments to media Pitched media on day trips to undamaged areas of state Pitched one-on-one interviews with rebuilding spokespeople Leveraged Mardi Gras 2006 as proof that we could still host a great celebration Leveraged New Orleans Jazz Festival as proof that are culture was still intact Leveraged Superdome re-opening to show that we were able to rebuild our iconic buildings and host NFL games

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44 Association for Conservation Information Conference STATE PARKS >> Refresh state parks materials to reflect our current ad campaign. >> In a subtle way, reinforce the message of “Come Fall In Love With Louisiana” through graphics and layout styles. >> Show a unified network of state parks with cohesive branding and materials. 44

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56 Association for Conservation Information Conference PRESENT REBOUND Phase 4 Out-Of-State Advertising “My Louisiana” >> In 2007, we conducted new research. From this we learned that it was time to evolve our advertising message and begin development of a new marketing campaign.

57 Phase 4 Public Relations Planned Voluntourism FAM tours Leveraged nationally broadcast sporting events as proof that we are ready for visitors –Sugar Bowl, BCS Championship, NBA All Star Tournament, Hornets, Zurich Classic, etc. Established Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors program

58 Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors Markets: New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville and Miami Results: Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News The Wall Street Journal Fortune magazine Washington Post NPR Bloomberg TV USA Today CNN Turner Private Networks KNBC-TV Rockefeller Foundation Wallace Foundation House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi Office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg Numerous business councils, political leaders, and funders

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61 Association for Conservation Information Conference PRESENT REBOUND Phase 4 Out-Of-State Advertising “My Louisiana” >> Research revealed that potential regional and national visitors were ready to return to Louisiana, but were unsure of what there was to see and do in the state. >> Research revealed potential visitors believed that a local resident or Louisiana “insider” could provide them with the information they wanted in order to feel confident about visiting. 61

62 Association for Conservation Information Conference PRESENT REBOUND Phase 4 Out-Of-State Advertising “My Louisiana” >> Working with the client, Louisiana insiders were identified and interviewed to obtain a list of their favorite cities, sites, attractions and activities. We knew that, to be successful, the “insiders” needed to come across to the consumer as authentic, and (based on our research) we needed to design the ads in a way that showcased many things to see and do. 62

63 Association for Conservation Information Conference PRESENT REBOUND Phase 4 Out-Of-State Advertising “My Louisiana” >> >> The design: a travelogue-style portrait. Design elements are evocative of journal writing and photography of travels around Louisiana. This is directly based on our research - our audience wants to see and hear what there is to do in Louisiana. John Besh / Terence Blanchard / John Folse Faith Ford / Amanda Shaw / Terrance Simien 63

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73 Association for Conservation Information Conference 2009 RESULTS >> Entire effort was very successful. >> Visitation has been restored to pre-Katrina/Rita levels. Since 2005, visitation has increased by a very healthy 29%. >> Visitor spending is almost restored. Since 2005, spending has increased 12% and continues to improve. >> Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport served 7.5 million passengers in 2007 or 21% more passengers than in >> Rounds of golf played on Audubon Golf Trail courses are at an all-time high – actually 30% higher than in >> The number of State Parks visitors continues to increase and is forecasted to be at an all-time high in the next four years. >> Tourism industry employment adversely affected by the 2005 hurricanes has returned to 2004 levels. >> Louisiana Welcome Centers have reported an increase in visitation that is approaching pre-Katrina/Rita levels. 73

74 Thank You P E T E R M A Y E R A D V E R T I S I N G, N E W O R L E A N S


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