Attracting millions of visitors to the Last Frontier.

CASE STUDY: ALASKA MEDIA ROAD SHOW

Thompson & Co. has been coordinating Alaska’s tourism public relations program since 2000. In 2002, T&C was asked to develop a creative solution to generate a more substantial revenue stream. This is how the Alaska Media Road Show was conceived. The three-day event aimed to increase awareness of Alaska as a travel destination.

The road show offers both media and Alaska tourism partners the chance to pitch travel-related stories and exchange information during 15-minute speed-dating type appointments, and at numerous social gatherings. The most recent iteration was held in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada.

MEDIA RELATIONS

Travel media are typically short on time and may not get the chance to make the trip to Alaska themselves, which is why this event has proven to be a successful research and networking opportunity for journalists. When choosing the media to be invited, T&C thoroughly vets and analyzes a variety of national travel media outlets – both traditional and digital – to come up with a selective invite list. T&C also rotates invitations each year to ensure different media outlets and freelancers can attend. Media such as NBC’s “Today,” Alaska Airlines Beyond, AFAR, Saturday Evening Post and Travel Weekly frequently return to learn more about why Alaska is a premier travel destination.

EVENT PLANNING

T&C manages the entire event – courting the journalists, crafting the website copy and invitations, soliciting the Alaska partners and recruiting sponsors to underwrite costs. Like the event’s theme, there are new wrinkles each year to further incentivize media to make the trip, from menus loaded with fresh local ingredients to beer tastings courtesy of Alaska’s finest breweries. T&C has also integrated a social media component that encourages and rewards media to post compelling content about their experience. The Alaska Media Road Show yields millions of dollars worth of coverage every year, in addition to either making revenue on behalf of ATIA or being revenue neutral.