When Redpoint took the reins on the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership’s (ACTP) US media relations program on April 1, 2017, we accepted a HUGE challenge: plan and execute a high-profile, texture-filled, and well-attended NYC media event by the first week of June. This challenge came with a footnote, which was, “oh, and by the way… start from scratch because planning was on hold until we hired you.”
Our response? Bring it on, Atlantic Canada.
This annual US media event has been a key initiative for the region’s four provinces – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Prince Edward Island – for more than a decade, and the media reps from each province treasure it as an anchor for fostering media relationships. But Redpoint was brought on board to infuse new energy and ideas into their regional PR effort, and so – despite the short window – we had to raise the bar dramatically to transform the expected event into a new standard.
If you’ve ever planned a big media event in NYC, you know the challenge we faced…location, logistics, and event features must be precisely orchestrated to shepherd all that work to the ONLY goal line that matters: getting key media to attend, because media events in this city are a dime a dozen.
Through a lot of planning hours (sustained by a lot of healthy snacks, or a lot of junk food, depending on the day), we secured a spectacular new location for the event, upstairs at Pier A Harbor House with indoor/outdoor water views, paying homage to Atlantic Canada’s prominence as a prime seacoast destination. We also…
- Sourced specialty foods/beverages from all four provinces to be featured at the event
- Quickly learned enough about Atlantic Canada to wrap a themed-bow around compelling news hooks (Remember? This was a brand-spanking-new client for us!)
- Created a multitude of texture to bring Atlantic Canada to life for guests…from entertainment and slide shows to photo booths and fun props
- Pitched our little hearts out to ensure A-list media attendance, leveraging OUR networks, THEIR networks, and anyone else’s network we deemed useful
- Learned an awful lot about transporting liquor across international borders
The result was – according to ACTP – the most successful, productive, and effective event they’ve had to date. Fifty journalists attended, representing such coveted media outlets as Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Robb Report, Saveur, Food & Wine, American Spa, AFAR, Fodor’s, Sherman’s Travel, Redbook, USA Today, and more. Not only did this event expose a whole crop of new journalists to Atlantic Canada news…it also led directly to visits and feature stories that appeared in the immediate months that followed.
*Note: in late 2017 ACTP changed its name to ACAT, which is the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism, but we left the former name intact for this case study. After all, it matches the name on the video, and we wouldn’t want you to think we didn’t know our own client’s name.