Public Relations

PR Objectives, Strategies & Tactics:

Objectives:

  • Attract overnight visitors to Arkansas
  • Enhance the national image of Arkansas 

Strategies:

  • Use earned media tactics to support and complement the Department’s broader marketing campaign both regionally and nationally
  • Create and advance positive messaging about Arkansas through ongoing national media coverage, ultimately leading consumers to the Arkansas Parks and Tourism website
  • Utilize vast blogging community consisting of those who appeal to the Department’s primary target audience

Tactics:

  1. National Public Relations
  2. P. Allen Smith Partnership
  3. Industry Outreach
  4. Trail of Holiday Lights

National Public Relations

National News Bureau

  • Objective: At least seven national media placements and extensive blogging on top parenting blog sites.
  • Develop ideas and conduct national media outreach around Arkansas people and places, while highlighting natural areas and destinations/attractions.
  • There will be a consistent mining for stories to pitch and place with national media to maintain steady coverage throughout the spring and summer. The emphasis will be on general attractions and the state’s rich sports and outdoor destinations.
  • General interest attractions and respective regions could include the following:
    • Stuart Davis Exhibit at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Northwest (October-December)
    • Chinese Lantern Festival – Central (November-January)
    • Murphy Arts District – South (Fall/Spring)
    • Buffalo River (America’s first national river) – North Central
    • Arkansas Outdoors – Fishing, Hunting – Statewide
    • Hot Springs National Park – Southwest
    • St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Hot Springs – Southwest
    • Arkansas’s Epic Mountain Biking Trails – Northwest and Southwest

Influencer Program

Influencers are people who, as the name implies, have influence over specific target audiences with specific interests. These are people who have reached expert status among their followers, who often act on influencer recommendations. This approach has been greatly utilized in the past as a key component of the national PR campaign and has proven to be successful.

The 2017-2018 approach will include using influencers who blog part-time or as a hobby, and those who do so on a full-time professional basis:

  • Millenial Bloggers – Promote Arkansas as a destination for young people interested in adventure experiences, outdoors and unique food offerings such as craft breweries
  • Outdoor Bloggers – Emphasis on mountain bikers, fishing and hunting
  • Paid Influencer Bloggers – High-profile professional bloggers who enjoy strong followers who act on recommendations

Syndicated Content

Syndicated content is an effective way to respond to the shifting business model in print and digital media. Whereas, a news release is aimed at journalists in hopes they’ll become interested in a product, service or event, syndicated content is geared toward a consumer audience and provides compelling online and print content for media outlets with shrinking staff sizes. Because of that new dynamic in media, a certain number of placements can be guaranteed.

For 2017-2018, we will produce two 700-word syndicated content articles. Topics to be determined. 

P. Allen Smith Partnership

Garden Home Underwriter

P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home is beginning its 17th season on public television and appearing in 94 of the top 100 U.S. markets with the potential of reaching 96% of American households.

Garden Style Sponsorship

  • P. Allen Smith’s Garden Style is a syndicated program airing on 127 commercial television stations with the potential to reach more than 123 million households over a 52-week period
  • Sponsorship includes:
    1. 30-second commercials airing for 26 weeks
    2. 10-second billboards airing in front of segments featuring Arkansas
    3. Three produced segments averaging three to five minutes in length featuring Allen
    4. Content integration on other P. Allen Smith platforms
    5. Home page placement under the “Brands We Love” section with up to five URL links
    6. Banner ads that rotate quarterly for 52 weeks
    7. Social Media:
      • P. Allen Smith will provide two posts per month on either Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram
      • One Facebook Live segment with P. Allen from a mutually agreed-upon location
      • One social media giveaway
      • Editorial content written by P. Allen Smith on why he loves Arkansas

Industry Outreach

National Thought Leadership Opportunities

Search for opportunities for Kane Webb and, perhaps, Governor Hutchinson to become part of the national discussion when it comes to travel and tourism issues

  1. Op-eds in relevant publications or online venues
  2. Participation in national podcasts dealing with travel and tourism
  3. The Natural State Podcast:
    • Further development of Kane Webb’s Natural State Podcast
    • Search for and be responsive to opportunities to promote the podcasts of regional and national interests

Trail of Holiday Lights

Towns both large and small all across Arkansas host Christmas light displays during the holiday season. A complete listing of those displays will be available to consumers in the following manner:

  • A published booklet available through the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism website
  • A complete listing, which can be easily updated, will be housed on the Department’s website – www.arkansas.com/trailofholidaylights