|VISIT FLORIDA Wins Silver SABRE Award for Tourism Crisis Management|
VISIT FLORIDA and our public relations agency Ketchum were honored with the Travel and Tourism Silver SABRE Award for “Tourism Crisis Management – Gulf Oil Spill” at the annual Holmes Group North American SABRE Awards ceremony held this week in New York City. The SABRE Awards are recognized as the largest public relations awards competition in the world, attracting more than 3,500 entries from more than 40 countries. The awards celebrate PR campaigns that demonstrate the highest levels of creativity, integrity and effectiveness and recognize excellence in public relations programming by highlighting best practices from around the world.
Last year was an extraordinarily challenging year for the tourism industry in the Sunshine State. I am extremely proud of the VISIT FLORIDA team, whose creativity and innovation have resulted in this remarkable campaign being recognized at the highest level of the public relations profession.
VISIT FLORIDA’s oil spill crisis management campaign sought to establish an information platform to manage uncertainty, correct misperceptions and remain a trusted resource for Florida’s visitors during and after the crisis, as well as communicate with the state’s tourism industry to create a unified and stronger Florida voice. The result was that tourism to Florida in 2010 increased statewide by 2 percent over 2009, with 29 percent of respondents to a third-party poll stating that “their desire to visit Florida had increased after seeing VISIT FLORIDA’s oil spill response efforts.”
“VISIT FLORIDA had managed hurricanes and red-tide before, but the uncertainty surrounding this situation, combined with significant media interest across today’s countless channels, raised unprecedented questions for its staff,” said James Donnelly, Senior Vice President – Crisis Management for Ketchum. “They immediately created a transparent information platform called ‘Florida Live’ to provide potential visitors with the most up-to-date, real-time travel planning resources possible, and it proved to be the basis for a campaign that saved the tourism industry in the Sunshine State from what could have been a disastrous year.”
As the No. 1 industry in the state, tourism is big business in Florida – there are more people visiting the Sunshine State on any given day than live in twelve U.S. states. In fact, tourism is so significant that it generates more than one fifth of the state’s sales tax revenue and employs nearly one million Floridians.
About the Holmes Group’s SABRE Awards
SABRE awards are bestowed annually and are presented for Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation. Gold SABREs recognize the best programs in specific brand-building and reputation management categories, Silver SABREs recognize the best programs in specific industries, and Bronze SABREs recognize excellence in technical aspects of communication. The Holmes Group exists to provide competitive insight and intelligence to public relations professionals. Products include consulting services, customized research, industry white papers, a weekly newsletter, The Holmes Report, and a comprehensive website. The Holmes Report is created for public relations professionals and offers industry news articles on new developments in the field and the trends and issues facing public relations professionals today and tomorrow.
Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. Named 2010 Large PR Firm of the Year (Holmes Report and PR News) and the winner of an unprecedented three consecutive PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), visit Ketchum.com.
President & CEO