CBRE Group, Inc.
MWW for the McDonald's New York Nutrition Tri-state Owner/Operators Association
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Best Location-Based Campaign
A tasty triumph for Durham, NC
The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau helps city win the coveted title of ‘Tastiest Town in the South.’
In January 2013, the city of Durham, N.C., was catapulted into the national spotlight by its inclusion on Southern Living magazine’s list of “Top 10 Tastiest Towns in the South.”
The resulting contest to win the title “Tastiest Town in the South” ended with Durham in the top spot. It also won the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
(DCVB) first place for Best Location-Based Campaign in PR Daily’s 2013 Digital PR Awards.
Votes were cast on the Southern Living website (and also by mail) over a six-week period, so the DCVB opted to take a “long game” approach to the competition. Its tactics included:
- Promoting awareness of the contest through multiple Web-based platforms, including the Durham news service website and the city’s official visitor website.
- Social media integration, using the “Durham, NC—Where Great Things Happen” Facebook page (which gained 24,000 likes during the course of the campaign) as well as two Twitter handles (5,400+ followers) to encourage daily voting.
- A YouTube video that piggybacked on the “Harlem Shake” video craze that was shaking the Internet in February 2013. The video was watched more than 6,600 times.
- Email messages sent to more than 3,400 Durham community members, including chefs, restaurant owners, and other stakeholders.
- Production of 20,000 check-stuffers, 650 posters, 2,250 stickers, and 100 buttons that were distributed throughout the community and posted in local restaurants and businesses.
In the end, the effort was a success. Durham won the competition, beating out Memphis, Tenn., its main rival for the honor. In more tangible terms, the total PR value of the “Tastiest Town in the South” award was calculated to equal $3.3 million in earned media value.
Here’s hoping that the DCVB’s Sam Poley, Kim Conder, Heather Darnell, Katy Dillard, Yolanda Ortiz, and Betsy Lash enjoyed a good meal to celebrate their victory in both the Southern Living contest and PR Daily’s 2013 Digital PR Awards.
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