Division B - Printed Tools of Public Relations
Category 6 - Magazine - Four Color
2006 Sandestin Magazine
Zandra Wolfgram, Public Relations Director; Christy Kearney, Communications Manager
Golden Image Award
Grand Golden Image Award
Research/Situation Analysis: After two active hurricane seasons in 2004 and 2005 leading to a downturn in business, the resort management team charged each department, including the PR team, with identifying revenue to contribute to the company's bottom line. The PR team strategized to leverage the Sandestin magazine - the resort's primary marketing tool - to local advertisers in order to boost net revenue streams. The daily task of promoting the 2,400-acre resort containing a village, retail center, four golf courses, marina, tennis complex, water sports, and numerous dining, shopping and retails options is tremendous. The PR team also faced the continual creative challenge of producing a compelling and attractive, self-sufficient piece that would tell the resort's story and clearly communicate the vast resort offerings to resort guests, its top 145 media (largely targeted to Southeast regional, family, travel, golf and trade publications) and local media. A multi-pronged project was implemented: the PR team would create a hardback in-room magazine with advertising space throughout the book, which would fund itself as well as its companion softbound version to be used primarily as a marketing and public relations tool. In addition, the PR team would entice advertising partners into the magazine with opportunities for value-added exposure in the resort's 1,700 guest rooms, in the resort's bi-monthly newspaper and on the resort's award-winning 24-hour TV channel.
- Increase magazine ad sales by 25% over 2005 and earn at least $14,500 in net profit to contribute to company bottom line by January 1, 2006.
- Secure 20 TV Video advertising partners through sale of full-page Sandestin magazine ads by January 1, 2006.
- Leverage in-room magazine exposure to create at least one marketing partnership.
- Help secure resort coverage in 50% of Sandestin's top 145 media by Feb. 1, 2007.
- Help secure at least 1,000 placements by May 15, 2007.
- Generate 350 phone calls from magazine readers; boost visitation by May 15, 2007.
- The public relations department solicited its current magazine publishing partner to solicit the advertisers. The resort led the content, design and tone in accordance with its brand image. Both partners teamed on editorial content.
- Increased magazine-style editorial, which covered every major resort outlet, service and offering in an imaginative way.
- A year-long marketing partnership was formed with local company involving Sandestin magazine, newspaper and TV video, and an exclusive in-room collateral piece.
- 5,000, 300-page, hardback copies of the Sandestin magazine were produced and placed in 1,450 guest rooms for one year and 20,000, 147-page, softbound copies were produced without advertising as a core public relations and marketing tool and mailed to top tier media and used at PR trade shows, and inserted in every media kit for the year, etc.
- Earned $373,993 gross ad sales (a 60% net increase over 2005) realizing a profit of $26,250 by Sept. 1, 2005.
- Secured 41 TV Video advertisers who bought full-page magazine ads, which generated $122,517 in revenue, nearly 43% of the total magazine ad sales generated by Sept. 1, 2005.
- Secured additional marketing partnership with local company valued at $67,776.47 (twice the total commission of the magazine), in which the company gained exposure in all publications, TV and guest rooms by creating a companion coupon/bookmark to the magazine.
- By Jan. 2007 the project generated more than 1,881 placements including 111 placements in the resort's Top 145 Target media such as Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta Parent, AvidGolfer, Birmingham News, Birmingham magazine, Child, Coastal Living, Dallas Morning News, Family Circle, Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, Golfweek, Mobile Press-Register, National Geographic Traveler, Portico, Southern Living, Successful Meetings, Travel + Leisure Golf, USA Today.
- By May 14, 2007, the magazine's unique 800 telephone number generated 408 inquiry phone calls; guest visits increased 2% over 2005.
Budget: This project is profit generating and so is not a budgeted expenditure for the PR department. Ad sales were leveraged against expenses to fund both versions of the magazine. The project's net ad sales were $262,800. After expenses of $236,550 (sales commissions, editorial, design, production and editing fees, printing, administrative and delivery fees) the magazine netted $26,250. The in-room bookmark/coupon contributed $13,000; and the newspaper ad sales generated $21,252, for a total profit of $60,702 for the company.