Travel Paso named a finalist in upcoming ‘Poppy Awards’
Nomination commends Travel Paso for its public relations campaign during the pandemic
– Travel Paso, Paso Robles’ destination marketing organization, this week announced it was named a finalist for Best Public Relation Campaign in the upcoming 2022 Visit California Poppy Awards. The statewide bi-annual awards honor the best and brightest in California tourism promotion and feature eight separate categories.
In response to the pandemic, Travel Paso – whose marketing and public relations are managed by Solterra Strategies – launched a public relations program to sustain and strengthen top-of-mind awareness with the national media. The added focus on drive-market media was developed to inspire more California tourists to road trip to Paso Robles, positioning the destination as a wide-open wine country and safe to visit. The campaign began soon after the pandemic and was ramped up significantly in the run-up to California’s June 2021 reopening.
The public relations campaign resulted in extensive earned media and influencer coverage that cited Paso Robles as a must-visit destination. Outlets included the Today Show, The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Los Angeles Times, Thrillist, and San Diego Tribune among many others. Overall, Paso Robles’ coverage earned more 14.4 billion impressions during the campaign.
The public relations strategy was executed in tandem with Travel Paso’s marketing and content campaigns. As a result, in July 2021 – a month after the June reopening – Paso Robles saw a record number of visitors, earning more than $1 million in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT).
“Effective PR puts storytelling front and center, supporting marketing initiatives with invaluable earned media,” says the Poppy Awards citation. “This category recognizes the best use of earned media and media activations to draw attention to destinations.”
Two other San Luis Obispo County organizations have been named finalists. Visit SLO CAL is nominated for Best Influencer Campaign, and Grover Beach is nominated for Best Overall Destination Brand Identity (under $1 Million). A full list of the finalists can be seen here.
Poppy Award winners will be announced at the upcoming Visit California Outlook Forum Feb. 14-15, 2022.