European Travel Commission (Visit Europe)

europe_5.2 Challenge:

CIIC’s challenge was to take this static URL (visiteurope.com) and turn it into an actionable tagline inspiring the imagination and driving traffic to the visiteurope.com portal for fulfillment, while maximizing their digital footprint across multiple web-based platforms to boost its Internet ROI, grow its online reputation, and ultimately generate consumer response and travel fulfillment.

CIIC was tasked with creating partnerships with value-added promotional emphasis, generating positive stories in mainstream media outlets which would lead to online fulfillment through the visiteurope.com portal, generating buzz about Europe online through travel and thematic blogs and other digital platforms and dramatically increase the online following of visiteurope.com on Facebook and Twitter and driving strong year-round traffic to the visiteurope.com portal.

Strategy:

CIIC’s strategic PR plan was digitally focused to create and communicate the most compelling attractions of ‘Destination Europe’ to first-time visitors via interactive online campaigns that highlight pan-European themes which resonate most effectively with Visit Europe's target audience – specifically Culture, Gastronomy and History.

Through this comprehensive digital plan, specifically timed and themed campaigns were created that would help spread the message to the identified potential travelers. Recruitment within these markets would help build larger networks, through sharing of content and newsfeeds. All CIIC digital campaign components were designed to be implemented across multiple ETC online channels (portal, social networks, e-newsletter) through our close collaboration with the digital marketing team in Brussels. All of these initiatives aimed to grow awareness of and drive increased traffic to visiteurope.com.

Components of each campaign included Social Media Contests, Digital and PR Integration, Engagement Tactics, Themed Facebook Content, and Expert Chats.

The first initiative included a successful “I Wish I Were There” Facebook contest that asked fans to create and post photos of themselves using an iconic European location as a backdrop. The campaign yielded 70 entries and an increase of 5,090 likes to the visiteurope.com during a one month period.

The second campaign highlighted the gastronomy component, with “Enjoy a Taste of Europe.” During the submission period, fans were asked to share their favorite foodie photo and story that reminds them of Europe. There were 185 entries, ranging from a fans favorite European dish to a memorable culinary experience in Europe, generated 1,687 new likes to the visiteurope.com Facebook page.

For the third campaign, CIIC secured a highly successful partnership with Ancestry.com to run the a co-sponsored contest, called "Follow Your Roots: Visit Europe." Ancestry.com provided the contest prizes and cross-promotion via their social media platforms. Fans were encouraged to submit a family photo along with a description about the significance of following their rules back to Europe for a chance to win a trip for two in addition to a year-long membership to Ancestry.com and a $400 gift certificate to MyCanvas.com. The campaign yielded 478 entries and 2,042 new likes.

To position visiteurope.com as the expert for European travel, CIIC created and managed the “Expert Forum,” hour-long, online sessions featuring nationally recognized travel experts representing the client via a platform that elevated visiteurope.com to the primary source of advice on travel to Europe.

Results:

CIIC’s use of strategic partnerships, ability to leverage existing media alliances (broadcast, print and online), coordination with preferred travel industry partners and successful maintenance of blogger relations created an all-inclusive digital PR campaign that significantly increased brand awareness and extended reach into many untapped markets.

In terms of digital results, CIIC secured an increased 88.98 percent in Facebook fans and a 37.62 percent increase in Twitter followers.

In addition to the campaign’s digital results, the CIIC/European Travel Commission visiteurope.com public relations program garnered over 52 feature stories, for a total of 11,575,713 readers, with newswire coverage in over 870 outlets yielding over 708,341,000 impressions.