- The Lowdown
East of England Tourism is responsible for attracting tourism to Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. It acts for about 600 partners, including hotels and resorts. Previously represented by Riva, it appointed HBS in a competitive pitch.
- Why is East of England Tourism doing this now?
A number of issues led to the repitch. The new James Bond film was shot in the area; two Olympic events will be held there (mountain biking and kayaking); the credit crunch means more people are holidaying at home.
- Who is being targeted?
'Discerning travellers', but the demographic is wide, ranging from weekend visitors in Southend to boutique hotel-goers in Norfolk. The London catchment area will be a focus.
- The tactics
HBS will target national, London and regional press, plus glossy tourism magazines. Broadcast outlets such as GMTV will be a focus to piggyback on interest in the Bond film. HBS will organise press trips to key destinations in the coming months. The agency will also handle a press office for East of England Tourism.
- What else is being done?
Journalist 'speed dating' events will be held in London and other cities around the country. Travel journalists will meet representatives from each county for five-minute briefings on each destination.
- Are there any potential pitfalls?
'It's about challenging perceptions,' says HBS PR director Jonathan Sloan. 'I know more about Kenya than I do about the East of England, but it is right on our doorstep.'