Frisco, Colorado, was a sleepy commuter mountain town. People driving to the bigger, glitzier resort towns along Colorado’s i-70 mountain corridor would simply stop into Frisco for gas or a quick bite to eat. People were missing all that Frisco has to offer, which is history, community and recreation. Plus, Frisco has affordable lodging, dining for every palate, dozens of trailheads, rugged and paved bike paths, a marina on a high-alpine reservoir, and it is a great home base to access ALL of the surrounding resort towns. So where were the visitors? The town hired Philosophy to help it figure that out and to encourage travelers to stay longer than a quick trip to the gas station.
What we found was that Frisco suffered from an identity crisis. Philosophy needed to showcase and communicate all the reasons people should stay longer in Frisco. Philosophy used media relations as our main tactic to begin building buzz about the town. Because our target media is bombarded with travel and tourism stories, we needed other ways to get Frisco to stand out. We decided to incorporate “old school” media outreach tactics with more modern social media initiatives. We created hard copy media kits and delivered them in person to news rooms. We also used social media to build relationships with target reporters and producers.
The media paid attention big time. Reporters and producers loved the “old school” media kits, which did exactly what we wanted them to: spark curiosity and conversations about Frisco. The first year Philosophy ran the campaign, more than 30 news stories ran about Frisco’s signature summertime event, the Colorado Barbecue Challenge. Attendance at the event was noticably up the first year and by the second year, attendance was up by 35 percent. We continued the media relations campaign for a fall event and a holiday event as well, generating dozens more news stories about Frisco. As a result, both events saw at least 20 percent increases in attendance.