Q: What is the strategy to rebuild favorable views of our destination post-Ian in the national media?
A: On November 1, Florida’s Paradise Coast restarted our communications plan with a phased-in approach to social media, travel trade, the meetings and weddings industries, consumer email and paid search. On that same day, we posted a date-stamped image of Fifth Avenue South on our homepage. We will continue to post other images from around the region in the coming months to show meeting planners and would-be visitors a contemporary view of the area as we recover. We encourage our partners to post their own contemporary images of their return to normal on their own social channels.
In 2023, we will update our Only Paradise Will Do campaign with all-new messaging and imagery, reinforcing our reputation as an elevated coastal, culinary, cultural and ecological paradise. While tone will remain an important consideration, we believe the revisions to the campaign will show how we are recovering and knock down misinformation that has spread online.
Q: How is the destination showing its “real time” status through videos and storytelling to positively impact customer engagement?
A: We recently met in Tallahassee with leaders of the Florida Society of Association Executives and unveiled a video that provides an unfiltered look at the destination. The meeting and the video were designed to overcome misinformation about the state of the destination and concerns among meeting planners that the region is non-functional. The same video has been edited for presentation to travel trade partners. More videos are on the horizon as our video and social media teams highlight the good news about the destination as we reopen for business.
Q. What is the status of the CVB’s communication efforts with meetings, events and travel trade audiences?
A: There is an active and regular cadence of communication with our meetings, travel trade, and convention audiences via owned media channels, i.e. email, social. Within days of the storm, Florida’s Paradise Coast executed various meeting and PR initiatives including IMEX, travel trade and wedding industry events.
Q: How is the CVB targeting key feeder markets to overcome negative impressions in the media there?
A: To counter misinformation in key feeder markets, Florida’s Paradise Coast is using a phased approach involving organic social and emails to our proprietary database to provide key destination updates, promote partner stories, and provide real-time information about our recovery and reopening. Messaging in key feeder markets is designed to ramp up into the new year and coordinate with the re-launch of our revised campaign in January.
Our Winter campaign will include takeovers in key markets in the Northeast and Midwest to drive renewed interest in the destination. Media buys will focus on streaming audio and video, out-of-home, upscale print and influencer marketing.
Q: Are we partnering with airlines on marketing opportunities for our destination?
A: Airline partnerships remain a crucial part of the destination’s overall media plan in 2023.
Q: What plans are there for live broadcasts from the destination highlighting areas that are unaffected by the storm?
A: As part of our recovery plan, we will ramp up our use of paid and owned media to promote the destination. That will include Facebook Live broadcasts, Instagram reels and stories as a way to tell the full spectrum of partners' stories and drive home the message that the destination is recovering and reopening for business.
Q: What messaging do you suggest we share with consumers looking to travel to the destination this winter?
A: Our messaging to winter visitors should focus on the fact that we welcome their return to Florida’s Paradise Coast. We want to encourage those who haven’t booked to do so and to urge those already booked to contact their accommodations for their status and to confirm the reservation. As for the beaches, we will emphasize their beauty and the pleasure of spending time on them while stressing that conditions beneath the water still require caution as they continue to improve.
Q: What messaging do you suggest we share with business groups that have already booked the property for 2023 events?
A: Because the situation changes daily, we recommend directing business groups to Florida’s Paradise Coast website for a single source of up-to-date information regarding recovery and the current status of the destination.
Q: What is the timeline from Florida Fish & Wildlife or the county environmental teams for reopening beaches, the length of time for water quality to rebound, rebuilding the beaches and lost foliage, etc.?
A: We remain in contact with state and county officials regarding the health of the beaches post-Ian. The most current listing of open beaches is available at the Collier County Parks & Recreation website. The Florida Department of Health continues to support a swim advisory with updates available on the department’s website.
Q. How do we stay up-to-date on the latest news and details on any upcoming efforts from the CVB?
A: There is a weekly Paradise Coastlines email that goes out to community partners. To subscribe, please reach out to Sandra.Rios@colliercountyfl.gov