Visit San Antonio: Communications, November 2017

October brings the renewed energy of a new fiscal year. To kick off the month, Visit San Antonio hosted the first group media familiarization tour focused on San Antonio’s cultural experiences and offered a sneak peek of what’s to come for the Tricentennial celebrations. Participating media included New York Daily News, Fodor’s, El Informador (Mexico), Publimetro (Mexico), El Norte (Mexico), Post Media Network – Canada’s largest media network including National Post, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Toronto Sun, Montreal Gazette and – and Latinos Magazine (Canada). The group experienced the historic and cultural side of our city including Market Square, Hemisfair, The Witte Museum and Main Plaza, as well as had time to talk with the Tricentennial Commission to learn about what’s to come in 2018. The group also enjoyed a stay at the Omni La Mansion that will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, a taste of the San Antonio Beer Festival, Cured, La Fruteria, Pearl Food Hall and Southtown, The group left enamored with the city and energized to help spread the word of our past and future.

A few days later, Visit San Antonio partnered with TTIA and Texas Tourism for a media mission to New York City to promote the state and its key destinations as part of the What I Like About Texas campaign. Visit San Antonio had deskside meetings with Travel + Leisure, Country Living, Woman’s Day, Martha Stewart Living, Thrillist, Brides, Surface, Travel Weekly, Successful Meetings, Convene Magazine, Associations Now, Meetings & Conventions and Architectural Digest. As part of the mission we hosted an event in the heart of Times Square with more than 20 media and social media influencers who enjoyed music by Gary P. Nunn and a taste of San Antonio’s own Chef Andrew Weissman.

The beginning of November continued strong with the announcement of San Antonio’s designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Check in next month for a comprehensive recap of the efforts and results. Just a few days later, the Communications and Tourism Development teams traveled to London for WTM, one of the leading travel conferences in Europe, to promote San Antonio to important European media and travel trade.

Interest from Australia continues to grow. After hosting the largest travel news syndicated column last month, Visit San Antonio worked with Expedia to increase their destination content in November. New photos and videos were shot throughout the city in order to entice potential travelers to book their next vacation to the Alamo City. With recent and new direct flights bringing more and more Aussies into Texas, we are primed to see an increase of this desirable traveling population to our city.

The next few weeks are an exciting time for San Antonio. The holiday lights were turned on last Friday and the River Walk and downtown look great. Next week we will welcome a group of national and international media as they experience the charm of San Antonio for the holidays as well as learn more about the upcoming Tricentennial events. San Antonio’s once-in-a-lifetime 300th anniversary will officially kick off on New Year’s Eve – we look forward to seeing you at the celebration!

The start of the fiscal year brings new goals including an earned media value of $35 million – an increase from the FY17 goal of $33.6 million. As Visit San Antonio seeks a better way to measure the efforts and results of the Communications team, and with the approval of its Marketing Committee and Board of Directors, we will be benchmarking a new performance indicator that is in line with the standard of the communications industry. We are calling this goal the Impact Score and it takes into account not only the amount of people that see or hear a story about San Antonio but also measures its quality by qualifying if it meets San Antonio’s target audiences and markets along with ensuring it is positive coverage for our destination. Based on last year’s performance, we have set a benchmark Impact Score goal of 1.5 billion points for FY18.