Philly stamps its tourism effort

PHILADELPHIA: As part of a $1.4 million tourism marketing campaign that began in May, called "With Love, Philadelphia XOXO," The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) launched a PR initiative tasking residents to invite friends and family to Philadelphia via branded, stamped postcards.

PHILADELPHIA: As part of a $1.4 million tourism marketing campaign that began in May, called “With Love, Philadelphia XOXO, The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) launched a PR initiative tasking residents to invite friends and family to Philadelphia via branded, stamped postcards. The organization's goal is to send 5,000 postcards this summer, on a budget of a few thousand dollars.

The team launched the initiative once the local press died down from the traditional ad campaign featuring love letters from Philadelphia, explained Caroline Bean, director of national media relations at GPTMC.

“The idea of the [overall] campaign was to be fun and flexible, speak to different audiences, and not be a straight discount campaign,” said Cara Schneider, director of media relations at GPTMC. “The hoteliers were very concerned about dropping prices to a point where they could never raise them back up.”

The PR team – in-house – planned a kickoff “backyard barbeque” event on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in late June with a local CBS affiliate and The CW Philly, tasking attendees to write postcards to family and friends. GPTMC also recently promoted the initiative outside the Fox Morning Show and set up postcard stations at Citizens Bank Park – a tailgate before a Philly's game - Suburban train station, Hyatt Regency Penn's Landing, and various Philadelphia hotels.

“What's so important is it's so personal,” Bean said. “There are follow-up conversations to these postcards.”

The team is promoting the initiative through event updates, event images, and an anonymous postcard content on Twitter, Facebook, and the organization's event blog, Uwishunu.com.

Toward the end of July, the team will launch a spinoff initiative tasking high-profile residents, such as chefs and local celebrities, to write letters inviting other notable figures to visit Philly.

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