Intro: Catalina Express dominates 95 percent of the boat transportation market to Catalina Island. For more than 30 years, the company’s marketing strategy has been destination focused – if they drive interest in the destination, they will have more passengers to transport.
Goals: To increase visitorship to the island and position the island/Avalon as a must see destination just minutes from the mainland.
Strategies: 1) Starting with Avalon’s centennial in 2013, to the Express’ popular Ride Free on Your Birthday promotion, new attractions, hotels, restaurants, as well as special Catalina Express Best of Winter packages and island events, we aggressively solicited as many media visits from the destination’s key feeder and vertical markets. 2) Developing key island partner relationships enabled us to create robust and newsworthy press experiences.
Tactics: Aggressive media relations and digital influencer campaign using one-on-pitching, news announcements, trend pitching and niche market pitching that included garnering stories without a media visit and hosting nearly 50 journalists during the island’s centennial.
Results: More than 1 billion impressions and average increase in media visits of 50% YOY in key outlets such as Los Angeles Times, Destination I Do, CBS Morning News, Coast, Orange Coast, San Diego, C, Good Day LA, Yahoo, LA Magazine, LA Confidential, KNBC-TV, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and more.