Helping the Keys Recover in Hurricane Irma’s Aftermath
Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm, struck Cudjoe Key 20 miles north of Key West on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2017, with wind gusts in excess of 150 mph and a 10-foot tidal surge. The devastation was widespread, with roads washed out, cell towers downed and water mains broken.
Monday morning the agency received a call from the Monroe County administrator. He wanted a website to facilitate Keys recovery efforts — NOW!
By Tuesday, we had secured KeysRecovery.org, created a logo and had a live website online. Wednesday the site received 76,000 visitors. For the next two months visits would be as high as 110,000 per day as the site became a clearinghouse for essential recovery information.
KeysRecovery.org provided ongoing updates on the status of food, water, electricity and other services from the Monroe County Emergency Management Operations Center. The site also included interactive links where residents could post that they were OK and their location, where family and friends could post queries about residents’ status and whereabouts, and where businesses and organizations with services and supplies could contact the EOC to coordinate assistance.
In addition, the site provided information on gas station, grocery store and pharmacy openings, as well as hospital facilities, debris removal and other county services as they came online.
In addition to the website, the agency also managed Keys Recovery–branded Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Waves of Coverage for the Seatrade Convention
For 25 years NewmanPR handled all media relations activities for the Seatrade Cruise Global convention and exhibition, the world’s largest annual cruise industry gathering, including recruiting, credentialing and registering media, writing and distributing all press materials and writing articles for placement in industry publications. In addition, we operated the press room, scheduled and managed press conferences, arranged interviews, produced news photography and wrote and produced on-site an eight- to 12-page daily tabloid-size four-color newspaper that was distributed at the convention and posted on the client’s website.
In our final year representing the event, 2015, we attracted 351 journalists from 26 countries — a record number. We garnered 760 media placements in 426 media outlets in 51 countries for a total of 2.4 billion potential impressions with an estimated advertising equivalency value of over $14 million. Yeah, we wonder why they replaced us, too.
FunShip Employee Communications
For five years NewmanPR produced the content for Carnival Cruise Line’s quarterly employee magazine, Seaview. From the latest news across the fleet to Q&As with executives and ship’s officers, the 36-page glossy, four-color magazine celebrated the activities, milestones and achievements of Carnival’s 3,900 shoreside and 33,500 shipboard employees.
Besides covering a multitude of news items, from retirements to promotions and charity events, the NewmanPR team produced a “Health Wise” wellness column, “Fun Facts,” foreign language tips, inspirational quotes and even a “Seek & Find” word-hunt game.
The World’s Largest Key Lime Pie
NewmanPR supported the Keys’ advertising and sales focus on Atlanta, Georgia, with a public relations promotion featuring the creation of “the world’s largest Key lime pie” at high-traffic Lenox Square.
Upper Keys chef and restaurateur Bobby Stoky headed a team that prepared an 8-foot-diameter pie and served samples to about 2,000 guests, with the effort targeting mainstream and social media coverage. Agency also coordinated outreach to area media outlets — which resulted in Stoky appearing on the local NBC affiliate’s “Atlanta & Co.” program — and a Florida Keys trip giveaway.
Agency produced video, still photography and story packages on the Key lime pie event and moved them out to media the following day, where they generated significant coverage. The video package aired more than 380 times, both nationally and in major U.S. markets, reaching a national audience of more than 5 million and total local-market viewership of nearly 11 million people. Social media was extensive with views for a Facebook video exceeding 94,000 and reaching 175,000. Total media value of the promotion exceeded $1 million.
Connecting and Protecting the Florida Keys
NewmanPR launched the ambitious “Connect and Protect” initiative to position the 125-mile-long island chain as a global leader in responsible tourism.
The “Connect and Protect” theme focused on sustainability and motivating visitors to include experiential, transformational, environmental and voluntourism activities. Objectives included protecting the destination’s unique natural environment — including the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef — and preserving its local lifestyle.
Launched in late 2018, Connect and Protect ran through 2019, and targeted the 4 million annual international and domestic visitors with a further objective of generating media coverage in Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Strategies included themed press trips, social media mini-videos, a consumer contest, a new website section, a “Keys Traveler” print magazine and dedicated e-newsletters.
Results of the comprehensive campaign included tens of millions of earned media and social media impressions, but a more significant measure of the campaign’s effectiveness was in tourism metrics.
Of 14 Florida tourism markets surveyed in December 2019, the Keys posted the highest year-to-date occupancy rate, with Key West at 84.2% and the entire Florida Keys at 76.6%; and average daily room rates in Key West at $291.52 and the Florida Keys at $277.32 — an increase of 3.9%.
Canadians Love Key Lime Pie
Canadian affiliate agency LMA and NewmanPR planned and executed a Key Lime Food Truck promotion in Toronto. The program featured a food truck decorated with Keys imagery distributing free slices of Key lime pie in high foot traffic locations. Other elements included a charity tie-in and distribution of significant Keys messaging.
The effort received media coverage including live spots on several of the region’s morning television news shows. Coverage also included posts on national Canadian travel and lifestyle sites while U.S. coverage included the Miami Herald business section, Travel + Leisure and a story by the Associated Press.
Social media coverage resulted in more than 900,000 impressions from #FLKeysPieTruck on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Total media impressions across all platforms exceeded 2 million, for an estimated PR value of more than $125,000.
Cracking the Mat Release Code
For clients seeking to extend brand communications into secondary and tertiary markets, the Mat Release is a tried-and-true approach. Also known as a matte release, syndicated content or advertorial, this PR tool meets the needs of the shifting landscape of America’s newspapers and media outlets. A mat release is sponsored content primarily aimed at publishers of community newspapers and free family publications and “penny savers.”
NewmanPR has had excellent results with mat releases by tying the brand to a current trend. We executed one for the Florida Keys account in early 2020, and by August the results were astounding. For an outlay of less than $6,000, the release generated 4,400 articles in all 50 states with a total readership of 6.8 million and online potential impressions of 77.1 million. The print placements had an approximate ad value of over $22,000, for some serious ROI.