When it comes to cooking, we’re often instructed to season to taste.
The field of public relations is quite similar, with a seemingly endless number of creative ways and approaches to cook up a campaign.
But what goes into a winning campaign?
Any genuine foodie or head chef would say the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
(DCVB) and its marketing agency certainly have a recipe for it.
There may be no accounting for taste, but as the heart and soul of establishing its city as a visitor destination, the DCVB is proud to account for the great tastes of its town, which it helped to be named Southern Living’s tastiest in the South
Initially sharing the spotlight with nine other culinary megastars, such as New Orleans, Miami, and Memphis, the magazine placed final say in the hands of voters, who were given six weeks to cast their ballots online and via traditional mail, permitting daily voting.
Recognizing that of the $780 million that visitors spent in Durham, $200 million was spent on food and beverages, the DCVB was prepared to use any means at its disposal to keep that revenue stream alive and prosperous.
Using its online news service to promote the contest with ads and banners, it also integrated social media into its mix, from the “Durham, NC—Where Great Things Happen” Facebook page
to the @DurhamNC
handles on Twitter.
The DCVB even piggybacked the “Harlem Shake” video trend with a version of its own that it posted to its YouTube page:
Broadcast media, newscasts, email, as well as print and auto marketing were all also used to aid the effort, helping get the word out both in and around town, as well as outside of Durham. Such materials included posters, stickers, and buttons that were distributed with bit.ly links and/or QR codes that directed potential voters back to the Southern Living hosted contest.
In the end, not only did Durham walk away with the title—it also received a plethora of supplementary benefits, from a calculated $3.3 million in earned media value and record views online to its growing digital communities and an increased email base.
Keeping the benefits going, we’d like to add one more: our naming its efforts PR Daily’s 2013 Digital PR Awards winner for Best Digital PR Campaign—Budget Under $25,000.
Compliments to the chef.
Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here.