Agency Lauded for Innovative Destination Marketing and Publicity Campaigns at the Society’s 52nd Annual ConventionMANCHESTER, ENGLAND --- (November 1, 2007) ---
M. Silver Associates (MSA) bolstered its reputation as destination marketing experts with the winning of gold and silver Aaron D. Cushman Public Relations Awards on behalf of Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) and Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA). The awards were presented at the 52nd Annual Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Convention, the largest convention of travel journalists in the world in 2007, where over 500 travel writers, photographers and public relations professionals gathered in Manchester, England in October. Named after prominent PR practitioner Aaron D. Cushman, the awards competition, now in its third year, recognizes the most innovative and effective PR practices in the travel and tourism industry.Transforming Greater Fort Lauderdale
Taking the gold Aaron statuette for Best Overall Marketing Campaign for a Destination, the agency won for its continued efforts in the transformation of Greater Fort Lauderdale, an area once known only for Spring Break, now emerging as a year-round luxury destination. Highlighted activities and events of the campaign included a winter-time market blitz in the northeastern U.S. featuring GFL’s “Beach on Wheels” – a glass-enclosed mobile beach scene which proved highly successful in securing television interviews for GFLCVB representatives; and promotion of high-profile exhibitions such as Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs at the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, to showcase the destination’s ability to attract big-name museum attractions.
In 2006, the agency generated a total media circulation exceeding 81 million, including prominent features in The Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Condé Nast Traveler. The “Beach on Wheels” market blitzes also proved an effective tool, securing segments featuring on Good Day Philadelphia and Good Morning Washington. The overall campaign helped make 2006 a record year for number of visitors to GFL, garnering an economic impact of $8.76 billion. Perhaps most impressively, GFL posted an average daily rate of $114.26, a figure 13.6% higher than any previous year and an indication of the destination’s continued upscale renaissance.
Media Falls for Baltimore
MSA also won a silver Aaron for Best Publicity Campaign for a Convention and Visitors Bureau for its work on behalf of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Authority (BACVA) “Free Fall Baltimore”, a city-wide program that offered more than 175 free cultural events, including live music, dance, theater and museum exhibitions. The media relations campaign garnered national media attention by finding newsy and distinct media angles, reaching more than 32 million people with stories appearing in The New York Times, Washington Post, Forbes.com, Budget Travel and many more. Visits to www.baltimore.org and www.FreeFallBaltimore.com soared as a result of these efforts, with an increased traffic of 124 percent. Arts and culture attractions participating in “Free Fall” reported major visitor increases as a result of the program. The final result of success came in May 2007 when an article in The Baltimore Sun announced that the city was planning to bring back “Free Fall” for a second year due to the outstanding results that were achieved in 2006.
This year’s Aaron Awards are added to M. Silver’s large inventory of more than 270 industry accolades, including the PRSA Silver Anvil and HSMAI Best-in-Show, on behalf of a broad range of clients, from national and regional tourism organizations to leading travel suppliers and hospitality companies. In business for over 35 years, M. Silver Associates Inc. has established itself as one of the United States’ leading public relations/marketing communications agencies specializing in travel and tourism and ranks among the top 100 agencies in the country. M. Silver also has the distinction to be the only company to have two agency principals – Chairman and CEO Morris Silver and President Virginia M. Sheridan – receive the prestigious Winthrop W. Grice Award for outstanding leadership and lifetime achievement in public relations from Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI).
Headquartered in New York City, MSA also has an office in Fort Lauderdale serving national and regional clients as well as the agency’s Hispanic practice. M. Silver is a partner in The Worldcom Group, the world’s largest consortium of public relations agencies for clients seeking greater international marketing support.
M. Silver Associates, Inc.
212-754-6500, ext. 205