Division B - Printed Tools of Public Relations
Category 11 - News Release
2006 Calendar of Events News Release
Zandra Wolfgram, Public Relations Director; Christy Kearney, Communications Manager
Golden Image Award
After the major storms in 2004 and 2005, Sandestin Golf and Beach
Resort saw a decrease in booking inquiries for 2006; visitor numbers
for the state of Florida slightly declined in the fourth quarter of
2005, and concerns about the area's beach conditions circulated. A
2005 Visitor Tracking Study confirmed off-the-beach offerings were
important to visitors when choosing a resort. Of Sandestin visitors
polled, 61% ranked non-activities as "must-haves" demonstrating that
maintaining year-round events and activities is vital to
differentiating Sandestin as the resort of choice. In fact, 13% of
unaided survey respondents named the Sandestin Wine Festival as a
specific activity they enjoyed. As part of the resort's overall
marketing and PR efforts to boost room nights and visitation, Sandestin
established a two-fold goal: 1) leverage the resort's ongoing special
events to reach media and consumers in the resort's top target markets
such as Atlanta and Birmingham positioning the resort as a year-round
destination with engaging special events and 2) stay top-of-mind with
locals by pursuing special event coverage in media outlets between
Panama City Beach and Pensacola. Sandestin's PR Team fashioned a news
release showcasing the resort's calendar of events for 2006, with a
special focus on significant annual events.
- Secure 25 event placements in Top Tier Media and 75 in regional publications.
- Secure 300 hits in Northwest Florida Daily News, The Destin Log and the Walton Sun.
- Secure at least 3 placements of the full-annual calendar in local publications.
- Secure an average of 25 event placements in local papers each month.
- Generate buzz year-round by securing monthly hits in local magazine calendar listings.
- Secure placement in at least one Visit Florida round-up release, sent to 2,000 media.
- Secure prominent placements in local event tabloids for at least 5 annual events.
- Help to increase attendance to key annual events such as the Emerald
Coast Blue Marlin Classic, 20th Anniversary Sandestin Wine Festival,
the 20th Annual Sandestin Triathlon and The Boeing Championship at
- Maintain resort visitation numbers of 520,037.
- Gathered event details from resort's event planners and crafted a
news release to position events a series of family-friendly events
throughout the calendar year and highlighting the resort's major
annual events and giving an overview of all resort events.
the release to the resort's Top Tier Media list (145 key media) and
list of qualified regional/national media; and 30 targeted local media
- Broke out annual calendar of events release into
regular round-up releases as a constant reminder of year-round events
and festivities at the resort.
- Posted the calendar of events news
release online in the Sandestin Media Room, included in all Sandestin
Press Kits and used in ongoing lead fulfillments.
- Secured 34 placements in the
resort's Top Tier Media, 96 placements in regional/national media and
396 placements in local newspapers, for more than 46,105,723
- Secured an average of 33 event hits in local papers each month, 32% more than goal.
- Full calendar of events was featured in event section of Destin Log January to February.
- Secured coverage in local magazine calendars every month and more than
10 prominent cover/lead page placements in weekly event showcase
- Key annual events saw increases in attendance numbers
¡V the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic increased 67%, 20th
Anniversary Sandestin Wine Festival increased approximately 26%, the
20th Annual Sandestin Triathlon hit capacity with 700 participants and
The Boeing Championship at Sandestin had 23% more attendees than
- Holiday events were included in Oct. 23 Visit Florida Release sent to 2,000 media.
- Realized a 2% increase in resort visitation (523,037 guests) in 2006 over 2005.
Calendar of Events News Release ($125); the follow-up releases were
crafted in house at no cost, except 40 hours of staff time. National
distribution was no cost through Bacon's contract. Local distribution
via e-mail was free. Clipping fees were $600/month for Bacon's. Visit
Florida Partnership benefits (research) were $5,500 for the year.
Walton County TDC Research was no cost.