PR Response to Hurricane Katrina

DEVENEY

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Crisis Communication and Media Relations for New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau
The efforts undertaken by our Communication team following Hurricane Katrina entailed creating and operating a Tourism Communication and Media Center on behalf of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) and its industry partners.   The goal was to spread positive, accurate stories about the rebirth of New Orleans tourism through the 2,000 journalists embedded in and reporting from New Orleans after the storm.

As a result, the effort garnered nearly 35,000 media placements and more than $400 million in publicity value for New Orleans.

Task:

In the days and weeks following Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was threatened with a barrage of news reports and media coverage. Our team was charged with adjusting the media spotlight from one of response and reaction to one of proactive management and control.

Strategy:

The team quickly identified significant challenges for the tourism industry and developed and disseminated key messages to communicate a hopeful outlook for New Orleans tourism.

Result:

The Tourism Communication and Media Center was a success. We were able to respond to media across the board while pitching and securing positive coverage for New Orleans. Within the first six weeks of operation, some 1,300 regional, national and international journalists utilized the media center.
Through the on-site support and media outreach by our team, the NOCVB became the go-to resource on all things New Orleans for media. Our team positioned NOCVB President & CEO Stephen Perry as the voice of the tourism industry and, more importantly, as a voice of hope for the recovery of New Orleans. The vision of the NOCVB and Perry’s mission for New Orleans recovery were disseminated worldwide through the media management and work done by our team.

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