Client: Activities Abroad
Brief: A four-month PR campaign to promote Activities Abroad’s new brand, The Aurora Zone – a new venture offering exciting trips based around the Northern Lights – as comprehensively as possible, with press visits a key objective.
Delivery: Travel PR quickly decided to centre its PR campaign around NASA’s prediction that 2012 would likely offer the best Northern Lights spectacles for 50 years. The Aurora Zone also offers extremely unusual and enticing ‘Aurora-chasing’ itineraries, wherein guests proactively chase the Aurora Borealis, and this was identified as a product area that would most immediately capture journalists’ attention. Travel PR liaised with key, relevant journalists, and distributed press releases and video footage as widely as possible. Targets for press visits were pre-selected and speedily pursued, given the imminent Northern Lights period and the desire for most features to appear early enough inside the 2011/12 season.
Results: Press trips were quickly arranged for priority media outlets – The Sunday Times, The Times, The Financial Times and The Guardian. In addition, quality coverage was secured in other key targets, such as Wanderlust, Ultratravel, The Mail on Sunday and The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. Travel PR also arranged for a competition slot in National Geographic Traveller running for two issues as well as online. As a result, Activities Abroad experienced a succession of record-breaking sales weeks, and was forced to constantly add new departure dates to cope with the unprecedented demand. Many of The Aurora Zone’s trips have completely sold out, with enquiries still consistently arriving. Activities Abroad opted to retain Travel PR’s services on The Aurora Zone (Travel PR also represents Activities Abroad’s core portfolio) for an additional two months. The total circulation of publications reached is 51.8 million, and the total advertising-equivalent value of coverage achieved is well upwards of £200,000.
Client feedback: “After three months of our financial year, we have already generated more turnover than we did in all of the previous year. We are all exhausted, having done a whole year’s worth of bookings in just three months… but very happy, which may be why we’ve extended our contract with Travel PR! It’s almost reached the stage where we’re opening the weekend travel sections and hoping that we are NOT featured!” Alastair McLean, Managing Director of Activities Abroad