​Mitigating the BP Oil Spill’s impact on New Orleans’ tourism business

New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, New Orleans’ tourism business, one of the leading drivers for the region’s economy, faced complex perception challenges and a grim future outlook for the seafood industry. In order to protect and drive revenue, Bond joined forces with New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Client Goal

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, New Orleans’ tourism business, one of the leading driver’s for the region’s economy, faced complex perception challenges and a grim future outlook for the seafood industry. In order to protect and drive revenue, Bond joined forces with the NOCVB’s communications team and local and national advertising and communications agencies in launching an aggressive public relations, social media and advertising campaign to combat misconceptions about the safety of Gulf seafood and the viability of New Orleans as a destination.

Campaign Approach

Media Relations – Tasked with maintaining “drive-time” tourism business, Bond engaged regional media, cultivating relationships and securing positive media coverage for the City of New Orleans, its cuisine, culture and quality of life.

Press Tours – During the oil spill, we conducted press tours, where we invited regional and national media to experience New Orleans. We immersed them in events, cuisine and New Orleans traditions, while communicating the safety of local seafood.

Contests – In order to foster positive conversations and memories of good times in New Orleans, we launched the “Let’s Do Shots” photo contest via Facebook, where fans could post their favorite picture from a trip to New Orleans in hopes of winning an all-expense-paid trip to the city. The contest embraced locals as well, offering them the chance to win a special experience in their hometown.

Results & Impact

Impact The marketing and public relations efforts made a tremendous impact on levels of visitation in the face of perception difficulties presented by the BP Oil Spill. In fact, New Orleans posted the largest RevPar (measure of hotel success) increase in the country compared to the year before, a victory which has been attributed to the unprecedented advertising and public relations push.

Awards

  • Public Relations Society of America: New Orleans Chapter – Award of Excellence – Crisis Management
  • PR Week Award 2011 – Finalist for Crisis Management Campaign of the Year