Discover Boating Ramps Up National PR Efforts

Since its official debut just one year ago, the most visible element of Discover Boating has been the national advertising campaign. The 30-second cable television commercials, full-page magazine advertisements and online banner ads are the first images many industry professionals conjure when someone mentions Discover Boating. But it’s important to remember the integration of ALL our marketing programs—including advertising, public relations, promotions and event marketing—is critical to the success of Discover Boating.
Beyond the Discover Boating advertising campaign lies an equally important part of our consumer outreach efforts: Public relations. PR allows us to extend ad campaign messaging and reach numerous audiences in different, creative ways. What’s more, with PR, we can tailor our approach to create the most impactful case for the boating lifestyle.
Summer is the time of year when news and entertainment outlets across the country tune into the world of boating. As a result, Discover Boating’s 2007 spring and summer public relations campaign is already in full swing. Highlights of this year’s efforts range from developing a strong word-of-mouth buzz in specific target markets, to securing major national news placements.
Piggybacking off a successful event produced last year in Miami, Discover Boating again executed its “Tax Day Stress Relief” event on April 17. Designed to highlight the stress-relieving aspects of boating, this year’s event took place in San Diego, where hundreds of potential boat buyers who turned in their taxes were eligible to receive free boat rides. Media from throughout the region covered the event, making it a major buzz builder on the West Coast.
Additional examples of unique and newsworthy Discover Boating PR efforts this spring and summer include:
– Partnership with Miami Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas. Thomas will be featured in an upcoming issue of ESPN Magazine, showcasing his love for boating and the relaxation spending time on the water provides him and his family during the off-season.
– Boating outings across the country with major local and national media designed to provide a hands-on boating experience for the editor, reporter or producer.
– Release of Discover Boating’s “Top Ten” boating destinations and activities around the country.
– Specific story pitching efforts surrounding the Memorial Day, Father’s Day and Fourth of July holidays.
But ongoing promotion of the boating lifestyle doesn’t stop there. Industry stakeholders are encouraged to get involved by integrating Discover Boating’s national PR efforts into their local markets. All the resources you need to get started—PR message points, press releases and how-to guides—are available for free on GrowBoating.org.
— By Carl Blackwell, vice president of Marketing & Communications for Grow Boating, Inc. and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

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