Bahamas Weather Conference looks to wash away storm fears

For the past 12 years, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has teamed up with Weber Shandwick to hold the Bahamas Weather Conference.

Objective: For the past 12 years, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has teamed up with Weber Shandwick to hold the Bahamas Weather Conference. The conference aims to teach meteorologists about the geography of the islands in order to improve the quality of weather reporting, which the board hopes will reduce the number of people that fear visiting during hurricane season.

"To report accurately on hurricanes around the country, you need to develop an island-specific vocabulary," said Valerie Edmonds, account supervisor at WS.

Idea: This year's conference was held April 9 to 13 at the Westin Grand Bahama Island. Most segments were also broadcast from the conference's Web site, http://www.bahamaswxconference.com/, in order to disseminate the message to a broader audience. Last year's conference drew a lot of attention from bloggers, so the PR team responded by revamping the Web site this year to include video sharing and the ability for individuals to directly link weather-conference videos to their blogs.

Tools: The conference is limited to about 100 people, so the PR team used the site as the primary way to extend the message to its narrowly targeted audience. "Our opportunity to increase the audience is really online," Edmonds said. The Web site was created to mirror the ideas of the conference and provide valuable weather-related information year-round.

Measurement: The PR team measures success by the quality, specificity, and accuracy of weather reporting throughout the year, in addition to Web hits. The site got 126,630 hits during the course of the conference this year, more than twice as much as last year.

Company: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Campaign: Bahamas Weather Conference
PR team: Weber Shandwick
Launch: April 9
Budget: Undisclosed

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