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  1. 1. Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca
  2. 2. Table of Contents 2 Table of Contents 3 About the Agency 4 About the Agency 5 Contact Information 6 Executive Summary 7 Current Situation 8 SWOT Analysis 9 SWOT Analysis 10 Competitor Analysis 11 Competitor Analysis 12 Competitor Analysis 13 Primary Research 14 Secondary Research 15 Objectives 16 Target Audience 17 Target Audience 18 Strategies 19-28 Tactics 31 Evaluation 32 Timetable 33 Budget 34 Budget 35 Meet the Team 36 Meet the Team 37 Meet the Team 38 Appendix Contents 39-44 Appendix 2
  3. 3. About The Agency 3
  4. 4. About The Agency Co-Z is a small public relations agency located in Ithaca, New York. We strive to stay up-to-date, helping to create the most effective public relations campaigns possible. We pride ourselves on making sure that our client’s vision becomes a reality. Our clients are our main priority and we feel it is necessary to get to know them as well as their current situation and their plans for future business devel- opment. We offer everything including a fully developed public relations campaign, thorough conducted research, and the execution of any relevant events to ensure the success of our clients. We are dedicated and motivated to produce the most effective campaigns to meet the stan- dards and goals of our clients. We continue to maintain the positive image that we have created for ourselves over the years. 4
  5. 5. Contact Information Emily Morely e-mail: Phone: (518) 779-6100 Abbey Pomeroy e-mail: phone: (920) 493-4112 Deanna Alvarez e-mail: phone: (914) 255-2982 Deanna Nanni e-mail: phone: (484) 723-3066 Jenna Becker e-mail: phone: (315) 520-2142 Laura Telischi e-mail: phone:(305) 333-3986 5
  6. 6. Executive Summary Co-Z PR has been given the opportunity to create a campaign proposal to help promote the Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca brand. The Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca is an association that prides itself on providing the best in hospitality and unique accommodations in upstate NY and the Finger Lakes. Our goal is to establish brand loyalty among their customers, educate the public about the benefits of staying at B&Bs and vacation rentals, and increase revenue for all of the members of the association. Within this proposal, we recommend solutions to help promote the Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Rentals of Greater Itha- ca brand. We conducted primary and secondary research of the benefits of staying at B&Bs and vacation rentals and of the association in order to establish our campaign. We developed a couple of strategies that will assist us in accomplish- ing our personal goals along with the goals of the Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca. We are targeting couples and families on vacation as well as parents of college students who desire to visit Ithaca either to see family members or experience Ithaca’s breath-taking scenery. We’re targeting this audience by promoting the association as a whole unit to make for an easy and convenient lodging search experience. We plan on reaching this audience through updating the brand’s media presence as well as connecting with other organizations. We would like to thank the Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca for giving us the opportunity to propose a campaign to help promote their brand. We greatly appreciate the time taken to meet with us and attend our presentation and for the consideration of our campaign. 6
  7. 7. Current Situation The Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Rentals Association of Greater Ithaca includes twenty professionally, owner-op- erated Inns, B&Bs, and vacation rentals within a thirty-mile radius of Ithaca, New York. Our specialized B&B’s offer uncommon accommodations in Ithaca with friendly staff, home cooked breakfasts, comfortable surroundings, and intimate and unforgettable guest experiences. Our vaca- tion rentals offer friends and families a private space to experience their vacation. They come in all varieties with full kitchens and large outdoor spaces. Along with the high level of competition, this organization lacks up-to-date promotional materials and brand aware- ness outside of the Finger Lakes region. The Bed & Break- fast and Vacation Rentals Association of Greater Ithaca strives to build a collective brand for a memorable lodging experience in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes Region. 7
  8. 8. SWOT Analysis Strengths Diverse group of Bed and Breakfasts/Inns to choose from Easy and simple to navigate website Dedicates/promotes section of website to activities in Ithaca Personal feel to the Inns and B&B’s Includes breakfast Location of B&B’s and Inns The privacy guests receive Cheaper than hotels Weaknesses Lacking vacation rentals compared to B&B’s Low social media coverage/updating (Facebook, twitter) Slim social media activity/minimal likes and posts Visual aspects on Website Only include activities in Ithaca available during summer/spring season 8
  9. 9. SWOT Analysis Opportunities More apparent in social media Engage more with the Ithaca community to gain more coverage Advertise more around the Ithaca area Attraction during the winter season Threats Other Ithaca hotels, alternative inns, and B&B’s Universal hotel companies Winter season 9
  10. 10. Competitors La TourellePrice: By packages that range between $299.00 and $550.00, all based on a couple’s retreat visit. Amenities: Wifi, glamping (glamorous camping), hot air balloon rides, spa, bath house, restaurant options within grounds. Dining: John Thomas Steakhouse, The Bistro. Positives: Combination of a hotel, bistro, and spa that can be found just north of the Ithaca College campus. Ranked in the top 10 Finger Lakes wedding venues and NY romantic inns and hotels. Negatives: Small hotel building, for a quick visit the price is very expen- sive, limited rooms during busy season. William Henry InnPrice: Ranges between $185 and $280 per night depending on what room rented. Amenities: Breakfast, evening desserts, coffee and tea, wifi, business cen- ter, TCAT transportation. Dining: Breakfast is available in the William Henry Inn, all other meals must be sought outside of Inn. Positives: Free parking, supporting local businesses, cheaper price for a Bed and Breakfast. Negatives: Minimum of two night stay, maximum of two people per room, additional guests must pay $25 per night, rates change on the weekends, lack of brand awareness. 10
  11. 11. Competitors The Hound and HarePrice: Ranges between $125 and $200 nightly. Amenities: Private baths for each room, complimentary breakfast included in price. Dining: Breakfast included in the Inn price, all other meals must be sought outside of Inn. Positives: Supporting local businesses, cheap for a short visit in Ithaca. Negatives: No pets allowed, limited space during the busy Ithaca tourism season, lack of brand awareness. Marriott Fairfield InnPrice: For a two night stay the prices range between $239 and $250, but by being a commercial hotel chain they allow group bookings. Amenities: Pool, wifi, fitness center, rewards system. Dining: Room for continental, buffet, and hot breakfast. Restaurants can be found in The Commons, which is a 2-minute walk away. Positives: Well-known brand, endless number of rooms available, rewards system, packages available for discounts. Negatives: Basic amenities, not supporting local businesses. 11
  12. 12. Competitors Hilton Garden InnPrice: Nightly cost $159. Amenities: Meeting rooms, fitness facilities, restaurant, wifi, all rooms are nonsmoking. Dining: Room for continental breakfast every morning, restaurant Positives: Rewards systems, packages available for discounts, accessible rooms are available, well-known brand, near Ithaca commons Negatives: Basic amenities, no pets allowed, parking costs $15 a night, not supporting local businesses. AirBnBEven though AirBnB is a website that allows the customer to search for bed and breakfast locations. This creates a competitive edge to the website and to companies associated with this website because it com- bines deals and prices for the consumer to compare. The trendy feel of the AirBnB website also creates the feeling that the rooms and places offered on the website will be trendy as well. This diminishes the stigma that bed and breakfasts are run-down and not kept up-to-date. 12
  13. 13. Primary Research We conducted primary research by doing a survey on Survey Monkey. We had 29 respondents, but people did skip questions. The purpose of this survey was to see if anyone has ever stayed at a bed and breakfast and to see if they were aware of the Ithaca Bed and Breakfast and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca Association. After conducting this survey we found that bed and breakfasts were not popular amongst the people who took this survey. This survey gave us a good idea of what people like about bed and breakfasts. It also told us that people prefer hotels over staying at a bed and breakfasts. What we can conclude is that the Ithaca Bed and Breakfast and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca have low brand awareness. Survey Monkey Results 13
  14. 14. Secondary Research Feedback We conducted secondary research with the customer feedback from the website TripAdvisor as well as the association’s social networking sites. We utilized this feedback to determine our objec- tives and develop strategies for our campaign. Results We found an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from recent guests of the bed and breakfasts. Many of the posts on TripAdvisor exemplify this conclusion, with one customer saying, “We have stayed here now 3 years in a row and we love it. It is a warm and cozy décor and staff to match.”The general complaint from customers on TripAdvisor was that there wasn’t enough staff to accommodate all the guests rapidly. 14
  15. 15. Objectives 1) Increase brand awareness 2) Increase sales rentals 3) Update website and expand on social media exposure through different platforms 4) Increase traffic during winter months 5) Communicate unique characteristics of a B&B and vacation rentals 15
  16. 16. Target Audience We selected our target audience based on the types of people that usually visit Ithaca. Couples on sum- mer vacation as well as parents of college students are the ideal market group when trying to establish brand loyalty. This demographic comes to visit Ithaca to see family members as well as experience Itha- ca’s picturesque scenery. They are impressionable because this target market forms preferences on where they like to stay while in Ithaca. We want these groups of people to make the Bed and Breakfast and Vaca- tion rentals of Greater Ithaca Association their number one organization when looking for a place to stay. From Ithaca’s breath-taking waterfalls and gorges to its exquisite restaurants, Ithaca is a well-known place for a romantic getaway. Couples are actively seeking places to stay as well as restaurants to eat at, to make their vacation even more idealistic. We hope to expose them to the Bed and Breakfast and Vacation rentals of Greater Ithaca Association and familiarize them with our charming B&B’s to enhance their ro- mantic Finger Lakes vacation. Another key demographic are parents who desire a dynamic vacation destination that appeals to the entire family. This group is actively seeking an accommodating, affordable, and family-friendly lodging to make their vacation relaxing and enjoyable. Introducing parents to the Bed and Breakfast and Vacation rentals of Greater Ithaca Association, will help their search be painless by presenting numerous options of characterized lodging that meet their desires. Another audience includes the parents of college students, who are paying a visit to their children at col- leges in Ithaca. They are coming to Ithaca to see their loved ones, but still desire a nice place to stay while they are here. The Bed and Breakfast and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca Association would serve as an accessible outlet they could use to help make their search easier as well as make their trip to Ithaca a pleasurable experience. 16
  17. 17. Target Audience CouplesEric and Jessica, a young and recently engaged couple, are looking for a quiet and remote location to spend a romantic weekend getaway. Eric and Jessica met while studying at Cornell University and wanted to return to the area where they first fell in love. The Halsey House, conveniently located only ten minutes from Cornell, is the perfect fit for the happy couple. They are able to enjoy the breathtaking scen- ery of the Finger Lakes as well as the many beautiful wine trails nearby. After a long day of enjoying all that Tompkins County has to offer, Eric and Jessica can cozy up by the in-room fireplace back at the Halsey House. FamiliesMeet the Brady family. Greg Brady is a senior at Ithaca College, and will be grad- uating in May of 2015. The family decided to make a vacation out of it, and will be spending the week prior to graduation relaxing at the Shangri-Lounge. The house offers six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a brand new gourmet kitchen, as well as many other amenities to appeal to a large family like the Bradys. The rest of the Brady children will spend their time playing pool and hanging out at the game table, making use of the huge pond accompanied by a rope swing, and exploring the waterfalls on the property. TouristsKate and Alaina, 27, love to travel and explore the beautiful outdoors. They have been all over the east coast, but could not be more excited to experience Ithaca, which is known for it’s breathtaking scenery and outdoor experiences. The natural beauty of Thomas Farm Bed and Breakfast is the ideal location for two avid explor- ers, equipped with hiking trails, flower gardens, and a pond for kayaking. They will also be in close proximity to the famous Ithaca gorges, as well as the Shindagin Hollow biking trails. 17
  18. 18. Strategies 1) Promote all fourteen B&Bs as a whole rather than individually 2) Connect to downtown Ithaca 3) Be more active and engaged in all forms of media 18
  19. 19. Tactics 1) Promote all fourteen B&Bs as a whole rather than individually Promotional Introduction Video Tour There are fourteen properties as a whole located in Ithaca and the greater finger lakes area Our idea is to make a map of all the properties, so when someone is planning a trip to Ithaca they can view and read about each house with a description, to see which bed and breakfast is the right choice for them. This will make it easier for travelers to find the right bed and breakfast or vacation rental for them. Next, it is important for each bed and breakfast to have a distinct description of the type of comfort it offers. Currently on the website you can click on each house and read a description that includes pictures. We would suggest the creation of a promotional introducation video that includes all of the properties and advertises the unity that exists within the association. This video would introduce consumers to the properties, their unique qualities/characteristics, and their wonderful owners. We believe that more visual representation of the properties would be very beneficial to the B&B and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca Association. 19
  20. 20. Tactics Create a Centralized Slogan A catch phrase or slogan is a creative way to represent the association as a whole. This catch phrase would be used on the website and promotional matericals. After sifting through our sur- vey results, we discovered that most people use adjectives like cozy, friendly, and clean to de- scribe B&Bs. We feel a slogan that connects these adjectives and characteristics of the Greater Ithaca region would be the most beneficial. After combining these two ideas, we came up with a few slogans: “Get a gorges experience at the friendly Ithaca Bed and Breakfasts” and “Start your gorges day by staying at a cozy Bed and Breakfast.” 20
  21. 21. Tactics We want to form close networks with local restaurants and wineries in the Ithaca area. It is important to create a relationship with these companies as they continuously draw in and attract locals, tourists, and college parents. By making deals with these companies, it will not only help further promote a positive outlook for the B&B and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca Association, but will benefit the other establishments as well. Down- town Ithaca is a thriving and exciting environment to be surrounded by and there is no better way to create relationships with our fellow companies than to be a part of it our- selves. 2) Connect to Downtown Ithaca 21
  22. 22. Deals with restaurants and wineries To help promote the Bed & Breakfasts and Vaction Rentals of Greater Ithaca, we want to partner up with some of Ithaca’s most well-established local restaurants and wineries. Any visitor who stays at one of our B&B’s or vacation rentals will receive information with those few chosen Ithaca restaurants on it which will have small discounts or rewards offered if one were to go to that particular restaurant. In turn, the restaurant will receive more promotion and attention for their company, having the deals benefits both the restaurants and us. In re- turn, we hope the restaurants recommend our B&B’s to their customers looking for a place to stay. Wineries are also one Ithaca’s more popular attractions. Again, a sheet will be given to our visitors informing them that they get a free bottle of wine, or a discount at the particular winery. By informing our visitors of these winer- ies and encouraging them to visit, we hope the wineries in return will recommend our B&B’s over other hotels or Inns in Ithaca. Tactics 22
  23. 23. Tactics Tabling during local events Throughout the year, the Commons in downtown Ithaca holds various events for locals and visitors in the area. These events are a large part of Ithaca’s culture, as they have been running and continuously flourishing for years, and are still valued and enjoyed as much as they were when they first started. At these events we plan to set up stations with some of our homemade cuisines we offer at our B&B’s. We feel this is an effective and friendly way to attract new faces as well as intrigue and draw in the old faces with some of the varied dishes that will be set out for tasting. These dishes will be created according to the theme and type of event or fest held that particular weekend. 23
  24. 24. Tactics 3) Be more active and engaged in all forms of media Update social media platforms weekly with events and promotions Because the target audience is families of Ithaca College and Cornell University students, news is most likely found through social media platforms. By keeping these platforms updated week- ly it will allow the target audience to know about the latest deals. This is a quick and easy way to give a newsflash which will then lead the audience to the website to find more information. Internship Position Offering a social media internship position throughout the year will reduce stress to the owners of the company and it will work as a form of word of mouth promotion. Having a college stu- dent be in charge of the social media details of the company will allow someone in the target audience to communicate the benefits of the B&Bs. This will also create a connection to the local colleges and their student bodies. 24
  25. 25. Tactics Twitter Small blurbs about the different deals will be posted here along with links to the website. This social media platform is good for connecting to other pro- motional companies such as the Twitter account @twithaca. Facebook Postings on all the B&B houses and vacation homes with the benefits of each individual one will allow the customers to get a gauge of what the company has to offer. Also, posting the seasonal deals and where the company will be found in different local events around Ithaca can be found here. Instagram This social media platform allows the company to show aspects of the organi- zation that can only be described with pictures. This will help Ithaca B&B and Vacation Homes promote the benefits of renting from a bed and breakfast rather than commercial hotels. 25
  26. 26. By updating the current rack card, the B&B and Vacation Rentals of Greater Ithaca will create unity within the association and a unique, new look. With an update to the visuals and design of the card it will also be more visually pleasing to the eye and pop-out from those around it. We have made a mock-up of a rack card that may be appealing. Tactics Rack Card 26
  27. 27. Newspapers and Radio By reaching out to local newspapers and radio stations, more recognition is created for the associ- ation. By doing this it will also allow the association to communicate the benefits of staying at a bed and breakfast and the deals that are currently happening. By focusing on student-run radio stations and newspapers it will help attract the specific target audience. WICB Creating a short radio commercial that is catchy and upbeat will create awareness of the company and what the current deals are. By advertising on the Ithaca College radio station we can inform the specific target audience about the benefits of staying at the Ithaca Bed and Breakfasts. Tactics 27
  28. 28. The Ithacan By including a feature story about the different bed and breakfasts that the association has to offer will allow the awareness of the company to increase on the Ithaca College campus. By putting small block ads into the newspaper will also increase the awareness of a bed and breakfast when looking at lodging within the Ithaca area. Cornell Chronicles With the same tactic as advertising in The Ithacan, placing ads in the Cor- nell Chronicle would also be very effective. Through the larger scale of students that attend Cornell University the impressions of the ad would be much larger. Even though Cornell has their own hotel, advertising bed and breakfasts and vacation rentals could spark an interest in a fami- ly who is staying for a few weeks, rather than a few nights. Tactics 28
  29. 29. Evaluation 29 Social Media Involvement We will use the media platforms to obtain feedback from our target audience as well as track the number of “likes” on facebook, “favorites” and “retweets” on twitter, and “likes” on instagram. Keep track of traffic on website We can find our target audience’s level of interest in the association by tracking the amount of people who visit the site in addition to how long those people remain on the site. Increase in sales We can track an increase in revenue earned by comparing sales before and after our strategies are implemented. Monitor online reviews We will observe the amount of online reviews to see how our target audience responded to our cam- paign. Suggestion box in all homes We will use the suggestions collected as direct feedback from our target audience.
  30. 30. Timetable 30
  31. 31. Budget 31 Newspapers The Ithacan Q3 edition: 3.7”x 5.9” - $83.25 Advertising for twice in each month, for 5 months Total for 2 years: $832.50 The Cornell Chronicle Free for Cornell community Booths for local events Apple Fest Standard 10’ x 10’ Booth - $175.00 Application Fee - $20.00 Total for 2 years: $430.00 Promotional Materials Rack Cards (Double sided) 4”x 9” cards Amount ordered: 5,000 Cost for 5,000 rack cards: $400 Total for 2 years: $800 Stickers Radius: 2” Amount: 1,000 Cost: $50 Total for 2 years: $100 Videographer and Photographer Job Cost: $350 Total for 2 years: $700 Social Media Internship Position Cost: none for internship Table for events: $10 per hour Time at table: Average of 4 hours per event Total for 2 years: $80 Total: $2,942.50
  32. 32. Budget 32
  33. 33. Meet The Team Deanna Nanni I am a sophomore Integrated Marketing Communications major with a minor in Communication Management and Design at Ithaca College. I am from Wallingford, PA, right outside of Philadelphia. Here on campus I am the vice president of the club tennis team. In my free time I enjoy doing zumba and taking pictures. My favorite bed and breakfast is the Tenwood Lodge. Laura Telischi I am a junior Cinema and Photography major with a minor in Integrated Marketing Communications at Ithaca College. These past two summers I have interned at two different marketing agencies, WhiteHaus Media Group and Royal Media Partners located in Miami Beach, FL. In my free time I enjoy photographing Ithaca’s beautiful outdoors as well as trying some of Ithaca’s bountiful restaurants. My favorite bed and breakfast in the Ithaca area is The Swallow’s Nest Bed and Breakfast. 33
  34. 34. Meet The Team Emily Morely I am a junior Integrated Marketing and Communications major from Nassau, The Bahamas. On the Ithaca College campus I have been a part of the varsity crew team for the past three years. In my free time I enjoy cooking, experimenting with new crafts, and exploring Ithaca with friends. My favorite Ithaca bed and breakfast is the Noble House Deanna Alvarez I am a sophomore Integrated Marketing Communications major with a minor in Psychology at Ithaca College. On campus I am a member of the IC Pulse Hip Hop team as well as IC Unbound Dance Company. In addi- tion, I am a student supervisor at the convenience store on campus. I am from Valhalla, NY, a half hour north of New York City. I enjoy my free time dancing, watching movies, and discovering all that the town of Ithaca has to offer. My favorite Ithaca bed and breakfast is the Taughannock Farms 34
  35. 35. Abbey Pomeroy I am a sophomore Integrated Marketing Communications major from Sturgeon Bay, WI. I am currently a member of the Ithaca Col- lege Women’s Varsity Swimming and Diving Team and the Ithaca College Vocal Jazz Ensemble. I teach swim lessons and lifeguard at the YMCA of Ithaca & Tompkins County. In my spare time I enjoy playing music, sailing, cooking, photography, and exploring the beautiful outdoors that Ithaca has to offer. My favorite Ithaca bed and breakfast is The Halsey House. Jenna Becker I am a junior Television and Radio major with a minor in Integrated Marketing Communications at Ithaca College. I spent last semester in London, England, interning with a creative marketing and communi- cations agency for lifestyle destinations and consumer brands, Sister Is. I am also a part of Ithaca College’s student-operated television production organization, ICTV, that serves all of Tompkins County. I am from Little Falls, NY, and I enjoy live music, good books, and trav- eling the world. My favorite Ithaca bed and breakfast is the Noble House Farm Bed and Breakfast. Meet The Team 35
  36. 36. Meet The Team 36
  37. 37. Appendix Contents 37 38 Survey Questions 39 Survey 40 Survey 41 Survey 42 Social Media 43 Sticker 44 Newspaper Ad Options
  38. 38. Appendix The first question we asked was “have you ever stayed at a bed and breakfast?” We had a total of 29 people answer this question. 56% of those people have stayed at a bed and breakfast before. This question was to get a sense of our target market. Our next question was “if so, how was your experience?” We only had nine people answer this question. But ⅔ of people said excellent while one person said awful. Our next question was “what adjectives best describe a bed and breakfast”? We wanted to see what people viewed them as. Our options were; cozy, friendly, comfortable, clean, expensive, and simple. Our top two adjectives were cozy and friendly. There were a total of 24 respondents to this ques- tion. Our client can now be aware of what people view bed and breakfasts as.Our fourth question was “where would you rather stay, a bed and breakfast or a hotel?” We had a total of 28 people answer this question. Even though people thought bed and breakfasts were cozy and friendly, we had 21 people say they would rather stay at a hotel instead of a bed and breakfast. Then we asked “Have you ever heard of the Ithaca bed and breakfasts”? We had a total of 29 people answer this question and 8 of the 29 respondents have heard of the Ithaca Bed and Breakfasts. This is telling us that people are not aware that these do exist or the people taking this survey are not from the Ithaca area. This tell us that our goal should be to promote the Bed and Breakfasts in a more efficient way to get them recognized. Our last question was “have you ever stayed at any of them”. We then listed all the bed and breakfasts and had people check the ones they stayed at. We had one respondent answer that they have stayed at the Halsey House. Then we had another person stay at Rogue’s Harbor Inn. All the other people have not stayed at the Bed and Breakfasts. This question shows we did not hit the right target audience for this survey. I feel like if more teachers and adults in the Ithaca area or students parents took this survey more people would have answered to staying at one of these. 38
  39. 39. Appendix 39
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  42. 42. 42Appendix
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