FEATURED WORK Finding Bermuda's Adventurous Side
Bermuda has been known for its pink sand beaches, Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktails and world-class golf courses for decades now. What the island is far less known for is its wide array of adventure travel offerings: incredible cliff diving, deep water solo rock climbing, a historic-railway-turned-bike-trail, and more than 200 shipwrecks to explore, just to name a few.
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.
Journalists love the word “new.” But what if a destination doesn’t have a fresh attraction or hot event this year? Then it’s time to look at existing assets and see how they might fit into a macro consumer trend or pop cultural shift. Leveraging some amazing established tourism institutions, TURNER garnered national press with an unlikely hook: Geek Chic.
WHAT WE DID
In recent years, the tech-savvy, sci-fi-loving, Comic-Con nerd has gone from social pariah to ahead-of-the-curve trendsetter. All of a sudden, geeks are chic. As a result, TURNER saw an opportunity to highlight Albuquerque’s many geek-friendly attractions.
TURNER designed a geek-themed FAM trip for Albuquerque, inviting some top journalists and bloggers to experience some of the offbeat treasures of the city. In an action-packed journey, they toasted a ghost on a haunted pub crawl; they learned all about the amazing science behind the lavender distillery process at a historic inn/organic farm; they got a Breaking Bad-inspired “Blue Ice” demonstration from the Candy Lady; they took a hot air balloon flight into the clouds. At every turn hyper-local guides (who were sometimes outside the traditional tourism community) greeted the group, giving authentic insight into what makes Albuquerque “Albu-Quirky.” The guides included:
- Troy Bradley – An adventurer who holds the most world records for hot air ballooning (more than 60!).
- Larry Crumpler – A scientist who is actively involved in the headline-grabbing Mars Rover expeditions.
- The Salsa Twins – The guys behind the famed El Pinto salsa shared how they use worm factories and engineering to create their highly acclaimed salsa. Seriously.
- Christine Anderson – Before it opened to the public, the CEO of Spaceport America led a private tour of the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, which has made Albuquerque the basecamp city for future space travelers.
An added bonus? The FAM trip kicked off on May 4th – the international day of Star Wars celebration (“May the fourth be with you”). Because, after all, geeks are all about the details.
Albuquerque’s Geek FAM resulted in a diverse range of travel media coverage in non-travel outlets that reached target visitor audiences, such as GeekDad (a WIRED Magazine blog), Atlas Obscura (a trendsetting tastemaker outlet that explores the odd, weird and unknown), Vagabondish (a leading travel and lifestyle blog) and Adventures by Daddy (a family oriented blog written by a biochemist). Along with more traditional placement, the FAM put Albuquerque on the radar of travelers who might not have otherwise known about the city’s geekier side.
Every fall, Estes Park – the quaint mountain village that serves as the basecamp of Rocky Mountain National Park – is invaded. No, not by space aliens or Vikings.The invaders are lumbering, majestic elk, who descend upon Estes for mating season. It’s one of the nation’s highest concentrations of wild elk – and TURNER knew that it offered a prime opportunity. Say goodbye to October … and hello to Elktober.
WHAT WE DID
Estes Park officially renamed October Elktober in 2007 as a celebration of the rut season, but TURNER kicked things up several notches with a proactive pitching campaign that highlighted the quirkier elements: elk bugling contests, elk-themed craft beers created by Estes Park Brewery and elk-inspired crafts made by local artisans. Additionally:
- We created an evergreen Elktober infographic (see below) that could be used by media outlets that wanted a fun, eye-catching and informative piece of visual content.
- We championed the charge to create a destination-wide “tailgating” elk-watching offering (the name a play on football season pre-game activities) that we were then able to use in pitching efforts.
- We timed our NYC media tour in August to capture short-lead opportunities from key outlets.
- We used b-roll assets of elk bugling to secure broadcast coverage in NBC News.
- We suggested the idea of a social elk tracking component (#EstesElkWatch); and used a Google map of suggested Estes Park elk viewing spots in pitching.
Elkmania! Elktober and Elk Fest are now among the town’s most popular events, with room nights at local hotels filling up during what was once part of Estes Park’s slow season. As a result of our efforts, TURNER secured valuable Elktober coverage in USA Today (who published our Elktober infographic), NBC News, The Active Times, The Weather Channel, Budget Travel and Successful Meetings. Who knew an invasion could be such a good thing?
TURNER aimed to make The Mighty 5™ even mightier, increasing awareness of Utah’s iconic Mighty Five National Parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion) among print and online media, as well as new geographic consumers.
What We Did
TURNER reached out to priority media contacts in the outdoor/adventure and general travel verticals, highlighting appealing aspects of The Mighty 5™, such as guided tours, affordability, popular gateway cities and accessibility, as appropriate angles for current editorial calendars, all-season stories, and fresh takes on the classic American road trip.
Our digital team created a Tumblr micro-site packed with inspiring, diverse content (images, video and text) that told the story of The Mighty 5™, drawing from the Utah Office of Tourism’s existing assets, as well as material found throughout Tumblr. Additionally, the team designed the #MyMighty5 sweepstakes, encouraging users to submit their own posts, and lending another level to the authentic voice of the campaign.
The Mighty 5™ looks great in photos and videos – but it looks best in person. With that in mind, TURNER secured several individual press visits to one, several or all of The Mighty 5™ national parks. These “solo” trips allowed for a wide variety of narratives, from affordable to luxury to extreme adventure.
Thanks to proactive pitching, media visits and the in-market press tour, TURNER garnered coverage in top outlets within Utah’s targeted publications, including Travel + Leisure, Outside, Budget Travel, Sunset, MapQuest.com and ShermansTravel.com. The first social destination marketing campaign of its kind for the brand, the launch of the Tumblr microsite allows Utah to use it during future iterations of the campaign. In addition, the hashtag #TheMighty5 saw nearly 250 Instagram photos over the course of the two-month digital campaign.
How do you take the wildly popular Breaking Bad TV series’ potentially polarizing subject matter – meth creation and consumption in Albuquerque, NM – and turn it into a media relations win for the destination? You have to take the good with the Bad.
What We Did
Working off of tourism marketing and social efforts that the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) initiated, a Breaking Bad-themed press trip to Albuquerque brought targeted national media to filming sites, favorite local hangouts of the cast and crew, film office representatives, and businesses that had a cheeky approach to welcoming tourists and fans of the show to the city.
Meanwhile, a pitching campaign showcased Albuquerque businesses visitors could experience – such as The Candy Lady, who made the original “meth” for the show and bike tours of famous sites, not to mention locally-produced items fans could order from afar, including “blue sky” donuts, crystal bath salts, and spice rubs inspired by Los Pollos Hermanos, a fictional restaurant chain on the show.
Thanks to integrated destination marketing efforts with the ACVB Coverage, more than 740 articles promoting Albuquerque in relationship to “Breaking Bad” appeared in 2013 alone, including top tier outlets such as People, Budget Travel, Hollywood Reporter, MSN.com, Thrillist.com, TheDailyMeal.com, and many more. The coverage contributed to significant growth in tourism and visitation for the city in 2013 and 2014. Not Bad, at all.
Eating is in. Culinary tourism is on the rise, as travelers seek out authentic and local flavors – and Four Seasons Vail is perfectly positioned as a property that can offer luxury accommodations along with some unique culinary adventures. TURNER worked with the resort to create a “fun-with-fungi” experience.
What We Did
A local mushroom forager took guests on a day trip to “hunt” for mushrooms (complete with private, Mercedes SUV transport to the most scenic locales), where they learned all about the Vail Valley’s wide array of indigenous mushrooms. Back at the resort, the executive chef led a culinary demonstration on how to prepare and cook their findings. Finally, guests enjoyed a specialty dinner featuring the mushrooms they foraged during the excursion.
To increase awareness, TURNER launched a campaign strategically targeting top tier national culinary, travel, outdoor & lifestyle media, crafting individual pitches tailored specifically to each outlet, journalist and opportunity.
This culinary adventure caught on with travelers – the Mushrooms & Mercedes experience sold out completely before end of summer.
The media took note as well. The overall campaign resulted in coverage in a variety of targeted outlets including Food & Wine, Associated Press, FoodandWine.com, Travel + Leisure, Departures Dispatch, Outside, CBS News, SKI Magazine, USA Today, Go Escape, Forbes.com, Boston Globe, Gadling.com, San Francisco Chronicle, ABCNews.com, and many more. The Associated Press placement also generated coverage in an additional 60+ outlets across the country.
As a whole, the Four Seasons Mountain Collection experienced an increase in bookings as a result of the coverage these experiences garnered.
With a scenically spectacular location in the heart of Mendoza, Argentina, the Vines Resort & Spa, which opened in early 2014, was perfectly positioned to become one of South America’s foremost luxury wine experiences.
But there was a problem. While Argentina was starting to appear on travelers’ “must-go” lists, and Mendoza was becoming more known as a top wine region in South America, the Mendoza Tourism organization put little effort towards proactively promoting the area to outside visitors and U.S. travelers.
What We Did
We knew we could do better. TURNER launched a national campaign to introduce the new hotel to key media and targeted consumer audiences across the U.S. We also developed specific messaging to educate consumers about the destination & the emerging wine region in an effort to bring it to center stage while also spotlighting the resort within it. We conducted proactive, strategic outreach to penetrate targeted, top-tier media & also executed select media FAMs to the resort & region in order to increase awareness of it as a vacation “hot spot”.
As a result of our efforts, we secured several feature stories & generated continuous significant coverage in top priority print & online outlets, including feature placements in Robb Report; Food & Wine; Conde Nast Traveler; Travel + Leisure; Elite Traveler; Departures.com; Celebrated Living, NYTimes.com and countless others.
- AC Denver
- Albuquerque CVB
- Allegro Hotels
- Aloft Austin Downtown
- Audley Travel
- Barceló Bávaro
- Barceló Hotel Group
- Barceló Maya
- Bermuda Tourism Authority
- Element Austin Downtown
- Hertz Europe
- JW Marriott Austin
- Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa
- Le Méridien Denver
- Occidental Hotels & Resorts
- Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
- REI Adventures
- Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts
- Royal Hideaway Playacar Resort
- Sunriver Resort
- The Hoxton, Williamsburg
- The Source Hotel
- Toronto Tourism
- Travel Alberta
- Utah Office of Tourism
- Viceroy Snowmass
- Visit Cheyenne
- Visit Estes Park
- Visit South Walton
- Waldorf Astoria Park City
- Westin Austin
- World Nomads