Breakout Sessions: Set IV, 3:45–4:45 p.m.
"'Saving Moments:' How to Effectively use the Internet to Build Your Brand Through Video"
Villa Room, Second Floor
In today’s on-demand information environment, people select the news they want, from where they want. Travel and tourism communicators have to be creative — even entertaining — to reach target audiences. Whether that audience is comprised of consumers, company employees or even the media, going viral is a go-to vehicle to attract interest. In this session, you will learn how to:
Eric Wright, senior vice president, marketing and business development, DS Simon Productions, has helped grow the company’s presence in many markets, including healthcare, consumer, technology and entertainment. Wright got his start in broadcasting at Home Team Sports, a regional sports cable station in Bethesda, MD after graduating from the American University. While at North American Network (NAN), a radio media relations agency headquartered in Bethesda, MD, he spearheaded the company’s expansion to New York in 1995. Wright has also worked as a freelance video editor for NewSport, a national cable sports channel, and News 12 Long Island, a regional cable news channel covering all of Long Island. During his tenure at D S Simon Productions, Inc., he was worked with major healthcare companies and organizations including The American College of Physicians, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, The American Academy of Opthalmology, The American Academy of Dermatology, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Weight Watchers International, The American Cancer Society, TAP Pharmaceuticals, Roche and Wyeth. Wright has been a vice president of the Publicity Club of New York (PCNY) for the past 10 years, after serving five years on its board of directors. He is also a founding member of the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society’s (EPPS) New York Chapter.
"What Keeps Your CEO Awake at Night and Why It’s Not PR: Becoming a Trusted, Strategic Advisor to the C-Suite"
Carranza Room, Second Floor
Do you contemplate why sales is at the table and you are not? Does your CEO fully understand the importance of strategic communications and how it benefits the entire organization? Find out from experienced tourism leaders what it takes to carve out a greater piece of the marketing mix. In this session, you will learn:
Mindy Bianca is public relations director of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, where she leads the team of PR professionals responsible for introducing the media and the traveling public to the destination of Hershey, Pennsylvania. In addition to telling the stories of the town built by chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey, the eight-person team oversees PR activities for the individual entities owned or operated by HE&R. These include Hersheypark, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hershey Highmeadow Campground, the Chocolate Spa, Hershey Golf Collection, ZooAmerica, Hershey Gardens, Hershey Theatre and other entertainment venues, restaurants, shops, and the Hershey Bears minor league hockey team. Bianca began her career as a journalist – first at a newspaper and then at two travel magazines – but switched to public relations in 1994. She joined HE&R in May 2005 after more than 10 years with the Maryland Office of Tourism Development.
Susan Lomax is associate vice president of Visit Orlando where she oversees global publicity and social media for the #1 family destination and one of the top North American meetings destinations. Her more than 15-year career in public relations and marketing includes working with many of the most recognizable hospitality companies in the world such as Universal Orlando Resort, Atlantis, Paradise Island; the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA Tour); and Paramount Parks, A Viacom Company. Her work has included everything from launching new attractions, hotels and restaurants; to promoting destination resorts and sporting events; to creating and executing compelling promotions and special events. Lomax has garnered numerous national industry awards including HSMAI Platinum and Gold Adrian Awards, Bulldog Gold Awards, and the coveted Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Victoria Isley is executive vice president/chief operating officer of Destination Marketing Association International. Isley brings nearly 17 years of destination marketing experience to her current position. Responsible for supporting and implementing the organization's overall strategic initiatives, Isley also oversees DMAI’s marketing and communications, membership and business development, professional development and meetings departments as well as empowerMINT. As Destination DC’s senior vice president of marketing & communications, Isley led a new brand strategy for the nation's capital, built research and strategy for organizational advocacy, and spearheaded crisis communications. Prior to her tenure at Destination DC, Isley served as vice president of marketing for the Tampa Bay & Company and as the director of communications for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Isley holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has earned her Professional in Destination Management certificate. She is currently a member of Destination Marketing Association International, a past research chairman for U.S. Travel Association, a past board member of the Public Relations Society of America Travel & Tourism Section, and an associate member of the Society of American Travel Writers.
Donna O'Daniels, executive director, New Orleans Northshore Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been with the Louisiana's Northshore CVB since 1996 and was promoted to CEO and president in 2005 just prior to the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. As the vice president of communications, she was solely responsible for garnering nearly $15 million in travel editorial for the Northshore in national magazines, newspapers and broadcast media. She served as chair of the PRSA Travel and Tourism Section in 2008 and was the associate-at-large for the Society of American Travel Writers from 2007-2009. She is currently the chair of South Coast USA, a regional marketing consortium of 12 CVBs from Pensacola, FL to Lake Charles, LA, and she is the vice chair of public relations for the Louisiana Tourism Coastal Coalition.
(Repeat) "Deeper Conversations: Connecting Social Media to Your Business"
Zapata Room, Second Floor
The new PR 2.0 buzzword is apps, and for good reason. Creative and strategic use of applications by PR pros can score big with destinations. Today, consumers of all ages are actively seeking out relationships with brands and experiences with potential destinations before they even commit to a trip. Cities, as well as other hospitality-focused venues, aren’t missing a beat as they create enhanced consumer engagement prior to and during vacation time with apps. During this session, you will learn how to: