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NEW ORLEANS CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

Submitted by Jacqueline Slater – jdslater@go.olemiss.edu

3/20/2013

PR Plan The purpose of this PR tool kit is to help NOCVB generate more awareness of New Orleans as a city of educational opportunities and family friendly environment, counter ideas of unsafe food and


New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

environment in addition to a vacation spot offering the food and fun for which New Orleans is known. The challenge is to build and maintain good relationships between NOCVB and local residents in order to adjust behaviors. The achievement of marketing and PR results will follow utilizing an integrated media mix which includes traditional and online social media channels as well as community relations.

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New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

TABLE OF CONTENTS Company Background........................................................2 Phase 1 (Research)............................................................3 Phase 2 (Strategy)..............................................................5 Phase 3 (Results)...............................................................8 Phase 4 (Creative Showcase)............................................9 Implementation Calendar.................................................10 Creative Showcase screen shots……………………..…11

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New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau PR PLAN

PHASE 1 / ONE (Research) What best practices should the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) consider? Best Practices to consider include an all-inclusive structure beginning with the communication’s framework. Who is the initial contact both internally and externally? In the event of crisis, all internal staff should possess knowledge of the communication hierarchy. Externally, non-NOCVB staff would benefit from information, whether this deals with evacuation, closures, emergency alerts, hence the necessity of knowledge of a communication hierarchy. This knowledge identifies the methods of communication and personnel and duties within the communication hierarchy. From the communication hierarchy, information related to potential risks and the likelihood of such occurring needs to be disseminated to the communication framework. Further consideration goes to insuring well established relationships with external organizations such as emergency response agencies and media channels. Internally, relationships must exist between the central location and remote sites (particularly sites not located in the state). Periodic site visits would assist in building the relationships. Training should 1. Be provided and 2. Be uniform, further strengthening the relationship between sites and external partners.

What key messages regarding travel to New Orleans are evident in the mainstream media? The idea of being a tourist location prevails for New Orleans. The largest messages include food and fun, food and fun, and more food and fun. Page 4


New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

What challenges do you think NOCVB faces today in getting visitors to Louisiana? With the more recent crisis matters bringing attention to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico area, many visitors concern themselves with the safety, quality, and integrity of the food. Food – authentic New Orleans food – attracts visitors. Contaminated waters compromise the safety of the food which leads to the possibility of 1. Importing key ingredients from non-local sources (ethics of advertising as “home-grown”), 2. Serving foods knowing the ingredients are not safe to consumer, or 3. Selecting inferior ingredients as a compromise.1 Following Hurricane Katrina, media coverage of New Orleans highlighted rampant criminal activity. Even as visitors understood that a certain amount of safety consciousness is required with any destination, New Orleans received a reputation of greater proportions considered as innate criminal activity. Current news coverage of a missing/abducted teacher visiting New Orleans maintains the idea of danger when visiting the city. Each damages the idea of New Orleans as a promising tourist destination, creating more apprehension and reason to not visit than seen as isolated and rare occurrences. Identifying New Orleans primarily as a fun and party destination limits the potential audience. Visitors may reject New Orleans as a site when it is seen as a distraction rather than an enhancement to event constituents. What messaging should CVB incorporate to address the issues that detract visitors? The current website has no immediate visibility or easy-to-locate information for “Family Friendly”, educational/museum/park options which need to populate the visitor’s mind (attracting additional audiences). New Orleans is a year-round destination spot. The public knows of Mardi Gras, Jazz Festivals, The French Quarter, Bourbon Street, et cetera. Emphasizing the multitude of events and experiences available year-round would provide a larger picture of New Orleans, inevitably attracting a 1

Terrica Washington – Assignment Editor WDAM-TV Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Personal Interview. 17 March 2013 Page 5


New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

larger target audience. Within this messaging, CVB needs to bring the family-friendly nature and opportunities available in New Orleans to primary visibility. Showing family-friendly offsets the appearance of lecherous and sinful. Las Vegas is “Sin City”; the “Big Easy” should be seen just as that. “Laissez les bon temps roulez,” reassuring that any and all persons will have a “good time”. Identifying local residents who are enjoying and surviving both food and environment after two of the area’s greatest disasters promotes visiting the city, a new city. Additionally, visitors should be privy to the New Orleans that local residents know and understand. Making visible the “home-cooked” menu and educational opportunities promotes beyond the standard “Food” and “Fun” perception.

PHASE 2 / TWO (Strategy) Intended Audience (18-34 year olds): The target for the New Orleans branding message includes the Millennial Generation addressing Cross-Cultural persons; males and females; urban, suburban, and rural communities; parents; single persons and married couples; and college students. A secondary audience includes parents, grandparents, business owners, educators, Generation X and Baby Boomers. Goals and Objectives: 1. Create an Awareness of New Orleans beyond food and fun Objective 1: Increase the perception of New Orleans to include knowledge of the educational opportunities/institutions Objective 2: Increase the number of monthly visitors by 5% 2. Attract additional visitors Objective 1: 45% increase in visitors in New Orleans for reasons other than food and fun 3. Encourage local residents to attract visitors Objective 1: Qualified leads generated by local residents account for 5% of monthly inquiries Objective 2: 4. Increase the list of top feeder states

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New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

Objective 1: Include Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee 5. Maintain awareness of New Orleans as food and fun capital Objective 1: 100% of visitors value the food and fun available in New Orleans Objective 2: Perception of unsafe food is 100% dissipated

Tactics: Awareness efforts targeting “Millennials” include press releases, Out-of-Home advertising, social media promotions along with direct mail, and email. A website will accompany the awareness efforts and converting audiences and encouraging loyalty from all target audiences. Television advertising will be used but more for the secondary target audience. Out-of-home advertising serves as the strongest effort. More than 90% of residents in the United States age 18 and older are exposed to Out-of-Home advertising2. Television and newspapers attract retirees and homemakers. Digital signage/billboards prove to be most cost effective; less timely to produce because there is no need for printing or installation; these will inform viewers of social media and web pages affiliated with NOCVB. With Digital signage, the display may be changed or alternated, using the same location, allowing flexibility of the message. In addition, the signage is positioned at major thoroughfares as well as targeted neighborhoods and communities. Seventy-one percent of travelers notice billboards. As a reminder, one of our goals is to include the states of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama in the collection of feeder states. One hundred-twenty three million persons commute in the United States. Ten percent of commuters travel 16 – 20 miles one way. This distance is massive enough to provide awareness to those targeted persons in the area of Memphis, Tennessee (395 miles), Birmingham, Alabama (345 miles), and Atlanta, Georgia (470 miles)3. Following digital signage, social media will encourage awareness of New Orleans as a viable vacation spot; consideration to travel to New Orleans (whether family, business, or social reasons); converting 2

“Why Go OOH? CBSOutdoor.com. https://www.cbsoutdoor.com/Tools/mediakits/Documents/NewOrleans_MK2012.pdf

3

Florida, Richard. “”Cities Have Personalities, Too: What Color is My City?”. Who’s Your City. Quoting from an initial study, “The Geography of Personality”, Florida shows that New Orleans has a strong concentration of the same 3 personality types as Tennessee (Memphis) and Georgia (Atlanta), and 2 types with Alabama (Birmingham). Page 7


New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

travelers to return more often; and promote the loyalty of visitors. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram) promotions will connect to a following that live outside areas not covered by digital signage or television in addition to digital signage covered areas. It will also provide awareness to the website. Further promotions will utilize direct mail and email campaigns. Direct mail (postcards and invitations) campaigns will be delivered to local residents encouraging residents to advertise New Orleans; gifts and substantial discounts will be awarded for “self-promoting�. Additional community events and location demonstrations will be sponsored in various areas of the city encouraging residents to participate in self-promoting. News releases to major media channels throughout the metropolitan and surrounding city/state areas will promote these ventures. Television and Radio spots will continue to advertise New Orleans. The difference will include promotion of education, parks, museums, and cruise ports in addition to the food and traditional fun for which New Orleans is known. Implementation: Because the communication tactics will be marketed in various areas, it is difficult to pinpoint exact costs for many of these initiatives. Many initiatives are inherently resource driven, the following general scale will describe needed investments: $ = up to $30,000 in a year or annually, $$ = between $30,000 and $100,000 a year or annually, $$$ = $100,000 to $250,000 in a year or annually, $$ $$ = above $250,000 in a year or annually. Efforts will begin June 2013. The initial launch will be digital billboards, television and radio spots in the specified states and areas. A week following the launch, social media monitoring will become a 24 hour venture. The week leading up to the 24 hour monitoring will only have staff monitoring alternating hours equally 12 hours a day. At the end of the launching week, social media sites should have a gracious population interacting from multiple times zones (mandating 24 hour monitoring) anticipating promotions/give-aways – weekly prizes will be offered for social media interactions.

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New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

The lead-off promotional message should address educational sites to visit, enrolling in one of the many colleges/universities along with the food and fun opportunities found in New Orleans. Promoting these should attract families, students/groups sponsoring students, businesses and organizations (conventions), tourist groups, and singles and couples vacation parties. REFER TO IMPLEMENTATION CHART

PHASE 3 / THREE (Results) Measurement/Evaluation of Success: Before and after studies will be implemented providing the most accurate information as related to the marketing plan. Focus group studies in target cities (Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, et cetera) are used to identify the strongest message/signage to use for the individual city. Following a 6 month period, survey questionnaires will be emailed to target audience persons in the target cities. The address will focus on the success of the signage and message (location of signage, perceived message versus actual message, effectiveness of vehicle – created awareness, created consideration, converted to visitor) in addition to the effectiveness of television and radio spots and which markets for these are most effective. Analytics will serve to provide evaluation of website and email (ie: Google analytics). Surveys will be used to evaluate patrons of social media. The analytics will be monitored every month. The first social media survey will follow 3 and 6 months after the initial launch.

PHASE 4 / FOUR (Creativity Showcase) Digital Signage/Press Release: The creative showcase is attached via a link submitted with the email text. In addition, screen shots are included in the PR Plan pdf.

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New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

START DATE

SUBJECT

June 1, 2013 June 15, 2013

Contact Media

Press Release

New Orleans is more than food and fun

July 2013

Getting Ready for Fall Getting Residents Involved

August 2013

Getting Residents involved

Septembe r 2013

Remind Residents/Back -to-School activities 1st Surveys distribution Socialize with NOCVB Residents’ Promotion Review Evaluations Results

October 2013 November 2013 December 2013

2nd evaluation

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IMPORTANC E

VEHICL E

CONTAC T M. Smith

COST S $

DURATIO N One time

Digital Signage Social Network Updates Website Relaunch TV/Radio spots Social Network Updates Newsletter Residents’ Promotion Direct Mail Press Release Social Network Updates Email (Eblast) Social Network Updates Social Media

J. Anderson

$$$

On-going

F. Chartain

$$$$

On-going

M. Smith

$

On-going

D. Chartres

$

2 months

Social Network Updates Social Media

K. Danube D. Chartres

$

3 weeks

Press Release Social Network Updates Social Media Social Network Updates Newsletter

M. Smith D. Chaartres

$

On-going

$

On-going

D. Chartres

CONTENT/STATU S


New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

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