Adrian Awards 2023
Goals: Clearly state your marketing goals. What did you strive to achieve using this piece or program?
In May 2023, Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida invited a selection of prominent travel journalists to serve as judges during the Emerald Coast Open’s Annual Lionfish Restaurant Week. They would be introduced to the destination’s award-winning Little Adventures – bite-sized challenges that make it easy for families to get out on the water and out of their comfort zones – as well as the inspired local coastal resources efforts. The primary goals of the experience were to showcase the family-friendly destination and its ecotourism offerings, and to secure earned media with target markets. The custom visit itinerary included the annual Blessing of the Fleet (the destination is home to the nation’s largest commercial fishing fleet), guided paddleboarding on the Choctawhatchee Bay, fishing with a local captain, sailing the Gulf of Mexico and a visit to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. Participating journalist Shayna Conde, writing on assignment for the popular, food-centric Food52 community, was especially intrigued by the county’s conservation campaign, and we hosted her in destination for a total of nine days. Her experience centered around a five-day stint as an event judge where she sampled nearly 10 original appetizer and entrée specialties featuring the invasive lionfish species. During Shayna’s visit to the Gulfarium, she also met with the county’s Coastal Resource Coordinator, Jessica Valek, to learn more about bold initiatives underway including a series of significant artificial reef site deployments aimed at making the destination one of the most spectacular diving sites in the state. Most importantly, she spent time interacting with Coastal Resources Manager Alex Fogg, a marine biologist spearheading the campaign that includes digital reef mapping and offshore habitat development designed to benefit both the environment and community.
Results: Which of your original goals did you achieve and how? How did you measure the effectiveness of the piece or campaign? Entrants should provide quantifiable results of their tactics or campaigns. (for example, click through rates or ad equivalency)
As a result of Shayna’s extended visit to Destin-Fort Walton Beach, she produced an in-depth feature titled, “Lionfish Are Harming Our Oceans—Here’s One (Delicious) Way to Fight Them” for the outlet. Her story shares the history of the lionfish arrival in the U.S. and subsequent migration and proliferation in the Gulf of Mexico. She profiles and quotes Alex Fogg before cataloguing her memorable experience as a Lionfish Restaurant Week competition judge. The story spotlights Destin-Fort Walton Beach, its local eateries and chefs through the lens of the friendly competition with a mission. With a hungry audience of more than 4.4 million unique monthly visitors, Shayna’s piece overdelivered in terms of reaching a desirable vertical consumer market and introducing both a problem and solution that resonated with her readers while differentiating the destination from its competitive set. The article also carried an advertising equivalency value of $4,070 USD that the destination didn’t have to spend to reach that market. Additionally, Shayna featured the story on Food52 social channels, expanding the total reach of the story by nearly 5,000 views. This feature achieved our primary goal of elevating Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s overall awareness for visitors while spotlighting the destination’s commitment to conservation and sustainable tourism. Further, it educated readers on the species and added a culinary component to the family-friendly destination’s documented appeal. Perhaps most notably, she lauded Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s creative campaign as a model that should be replicated around the globe to combat other similar invasive species.
Return on Investment: How much revenue has the piece or campaign generated and how does this compare to your goal? What was the return on investment?
Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s tourism department and its partners supported Shayna’s trip by providing airfare to and from the destination, accommodations, activities and meals during her stay. The initiative amounted to an approximately $4,000 investment (mostly for lodging) by the organization. The agency, Hawkins International, a FINN Partners agency, provided its media relations expertise and time under its retainer agreement with the department, and no additional budget was required.?Given that Shayna’s visit resulted in an expansive online feature, the return on investment has been overwhelmingly positive, exceeding all expectations.
Please select a budget range for actual budget including any agency fees.
Entry Title
Writer Tames Lionfish for Her Culinary Audience
Public Relations/Communications - Feature Placement Online or Print Consumer Media
Public Relations/Communications
Entry Award: