NEW YORK: Scenic Group, whose portfolio includes Emerald Cruises and Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, has brought Coyne Public Relations aboard as PR AOR.
The company hired Coyne in December, following an RFP process that started in August. Eight firms responded to the RFP, and pitching rounds took place until Coyne was chosen, said Scenic Group U.S.A. VP of marketing Robert Castro. Coyne’s work with Scenic Group kicked off February 1.
While Coyne is leading PR work for Scenic Group, the firm will collaborate with its WorldCom PR Group partners, Communications Casacom in Canada and Arvizu Comunicación Corporativa in LatAm, to amplify consumer awareness of and affinity for Scenic Group.
“The strategy, ideation, research and insights was designed by Coyne,” said agency EVP Jennifer Kamienski. “So we are the lead agency and looking to our partners to take the strategic direction we are going in and adapt it to their markets.”
Together, the teams will work to position Scenic Group as the “premier luxury cruise brands” and elevate its profile in travel markets in the U.S., Canada and LatAm, enhancing its reputation to attract guests, according to a Scenic Group statement.
Coyne will focus on communications elements including media relations, brand positioning and digital storytelling, highlighting the company’s luxury cruise and tour offerings and a “shared vision for excellence in luxury travel,” the company said in a statement.
“Our biggest challenge is getting the word out about the best-kept secret in travel. It is time to let the U.S., LatAm and Canada markets know that this great option is for them,” said Castro.
Scenic Group has an “aggressive” growth strategy in a competitive landscape, said Kamienski. Castro said that the U.S. is poised to be the largest growth market for the group, so the company has invested in elevating its relationship with key media and stakeholders.
“This is an opportunity to set themselves apart as a luxury lifestyle brand,” she said. “To be given the chance to meet and exceed those goals is something the team is ready to sink their teeth into. We are looking at ways of partnering with other like minded brands and bigger creative activations you might not typically see for this category.”
Coyne VP Michelle Abril is leading a team of five on the account. Budget information was not disclosed.
Gillies & Zaiser Public Relations was the incumbent on the account before the relationship ended last month.
“We had a great relationship with them over the years and we wish them nothing but continued success as they continue on their journey,” said Castro, about Gillies & Zaiser. “We invited them as part of this process and as the group reviewed to align with the objectives of where we want to grow, that is what drove this decision.”
Elliot Gillies, president of Gillies & Zaiser, said his agency is “disappointed” about the client loss and noted that they worked together for more than 15 years.
“From the moment Scenic showed up on the shores of the U.S.A. in 2009 with four river ships and no domestic offices, we have enjoyed assisting in the growth of the company with the help of several talented Scenic staff,” he said. “Our abilities to transcend management change after management change and still produce consistent stellar results speaks volumes to our strong media connections and the high and consistent standards aboard Scenic Group’s river ships and ocean yachts.”
Gillies wished Scenic Group “the best of luck and good fortune.”
In the U.K., Scenic Group brought on Lotus to handle its PR after a four-way competitive pitch process. The incumbent agency on that account was Siren Communications.
Scenic Group includes Emerald Cruises, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Mayflower Cruises & Tours and Evergreen Tours. Established in 1986, Scenic Group is an Australian-founded company, taking customers on destinations to 60 countries and every continent.