California launches first state-wide restaurant month

SACRAMENTO: The California Travel and Tourism Commission is looking to build a brand around its first state-wide California Restaurant Month launching in January.

SACRAMENTO: The California Travel and Tourism Commission is looking to build a brand around its first state-wide California Restaurant Month launching in January.

Efforts around the event have been driven by PR, said Kathryn Burnside, director of communications for the commission. The goal for the event was to build a brand around a set month and then to measure the success for following years.

Through out the fall, the commission has been working with local and national press to draw attention to the upcoming event month.

“We had to reconcile when the press would be interested in the event as news and when people are planning their vacations,” Burnside explained of the timing. “We wanted to inspire out of state visitors with a state-wide umbrella campaign.”

There are 23 California destinations participating in the event with either a special restaurant week or month-long promotions.

The commission enlisted the help of celebrity chefs Ben Ford and Michael Chiarello to make television promotional television appearance for both the event and their respective restaurants.

Through out the month, Burnside said the commission will be using its Facebook and Twitter outlets to continue to build awareness.

After the month is over, Burnside said the commission will evaluate what worked and what didn't for next year. It also hopes to conduct more advertising and strategic partnerships for 2012.

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