Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders travel to Sydney and its environs each year for holidays and work. But Destination New South Wales is not sitting on its laurels. The promotion agency requires continuous marketing and PR campaigns to make sure Kiwis keep flying over the Tasman to visit Sydney’s famous tourist attractions, events, harbours and restaurants. The business objective of Destination NSW is to double overnight visitor spending within the State by 2020. Destination NSW’s key annual event is Vivid Sydney – the world’ largest festival of light, music and the arts. In February 2018 the agency asked Wright Communications to prepare a PR plan that would drive destination awareness and visitation for Sydney using, in part, Vivid as a hook.
The Wright approach
Although the Vivid Festival was celebrating its 10th Anniversary in May-June 2018, it was not widely known to the New Zealand media or public. Vivid is a three-week festival of light installations and multiple events including big international acts. However, New Zealand media had historically ignored the event as it does not strongly feature New Zealand acts. Wright Communications worked closely with Destination NSW to leverage its existing campaign platforms and events. Key to the PR campaign was encouraging New Zealand media to visit Sydney and attend Vivid Festival events. Selected media in the news, travel, lifestyle and food and wine sectors were targeted with tailored pitches for each journalist and title. In addition, Wright Communications acted as Destination NSW’s Media Press Office in New Zealand, managing media requests, generating further media coverage and creating localised media materials.
Wright Communications brought all of its previous experience promoting Niue and major Auckland events to this brief. It identified specific topics of interest for travel, innovation and lifestyle titles. It sought out travel writers and general news journalists who were known to extract great value via numerous articles from just one ‘famil’ trip.
The length and depth of coverage over the winter period of April to October 2018 was comprehensive with more than 50 articles in mainstream newspapers and magazines. All major titles ran feature articles on Vivid or other destinations in New South Wales. The final media clipping list including NZME’s New Zealand Herald, Viva and Time Out. Articles appeared in Woman’s Day, Idealog, Mindfood, Art News NZ, NZ Women’s Weekly, Kia Ora, Tots to Teens, and Denizen. Stories appeared in provincial newspapers and online publications such as Stuff, nzherald.co.nz and fresh.co.nz. One News, Newshub and NewstalkZB also broadcast pieces, tweeted and posted on Instagram and Facebook.
Overall, the theme of “I want to go there, I need to experience this” came through loud and clear in the extensive media coverage.