NYC & Co. invites LGBT community to city

NEW YORK: NYC & Co., New York City's marketing, tourism, and partnership organization, launched a year-long campaign to promote LGBT travel to the city.

NEW YORK: NYC & Co., New York City's marketing, tourism, and partnership organization, launched a year-long campaign to promote LGBT travel to the city. "The Rainbow Pilgrimage" campaign commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which are often credited with starting the gay rights movement in the city.

The first phase of the campaign focused on a press conference, with the City Council's first openly gay speaker, Christine Quinn, to announce the campaign on April 7. It took place the same day the Vermont Legislature voted to allow same-sex marriage.

"The timing of Vermont really worked in our favor to help amplify our message in a relevant way," said Chris Heywood, VP of travel and tourism PR for NYC & Co.

The organization focused on media relations to local, travel, and LGBT outlets, and saw coverage of the event in the The New York Times, amNY, and the Associated Press. Rubenstein Communications supported the event with local outreach. Online, the campaign has a microsite and Twitter account.

In past years, NYC & Co.'s PR strategy for LGBT outreach was to focus on New York's pride celebration every June, but "this year, we want it to live longer, and we want it to be extended," Heywood said.

"We actually put together a bigger strategy, aimed at how we're going to present this campaign throughout the year," he explained. "There will be other components that we'll try to layer in to keep the messaging going, like a gay-oriented press fam trip."

A second round of outreach will focus on blogs, particularly in the travel area, and future aspects of the campaign will include more global outreach, Heywood said.

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