The Power of Media Relations

The Power of Media Relations

A brand repositioning transforms a simple sun, sand and sea vacation stop into a highly sought-after Caribbean destination, resulting in record air arrivals.

photo courtesy of Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

Challenge

A crowded field of Caribbean destinations and stereotypes about off-shore banking left the Cayman Islands with a need for differentiation. To stand out – both in the travel industry and to the appropriate consumer population – the destination’s positioning in the media needed to evolve past both pop-culture banking references and the expected beautiful beaches and clear water.

photo courtesy of Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

The Mfa Way

A dynamic strategy was built to bolster the destination’s reputation and programming, specifically targeting families, culinary enthusiasts, adventurers, romance seekers and the wedding industry. A fresh approach to Caribbean marketing incorporated partnerships, unexpected relationships and attention grabbing activations in the right markets, all with strong media appeal. Mfa guided programming and boosted visibility and visits for the Cayman Cookout culinary festival, a program that brought internationally renowned athletes to lead kids’ camps, a marine education partnership with Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob and more. 2014 was a record breaking year for air arrivals and 2015’s numbers continued to soar.

photo courtesy of Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

Impact

A 17+ year relationship with the destination saw exceptional feature – and award winning – coverage across targeted vertical media and mass consumer press, including Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The TODAY Show, and many more. A revamped Visiting Journalist program increased ROI by more than 300%. Pre-event media coverage led to sold out events like Cayman Cookout and Skate Cayman. Airline and hotel partners like JetBlue, Delta, The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, the Westin Grand Cayman and the Marriott Seven Mile Beach saw increased bookings as a result of targeted promotions-based media outreach.

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