Published On: February 1, 2023By

In short

Travel Manitoba’s branding had done a remarkable job establishing the province as a destination for locals, Canadians, and international travellers. However, the way we discover and choose travel has changed over the last decade. And Manitoba’s offerings had evolved too. In 2022, Manitoba’s tourism marketing organization decided it was time for an update.

Travel Manitoba asked UpHouse to lead a brand refresh that would support post-pandemic recovery and make Manitoba stand out in an incredibly competitive global tourism market. The energetic and engaging campaign – Canada’s Heart Is Calling – focuses on the emotional reasons why people like to travel in and through Manitoba. Once completed, the refreshed brand needed a launch event. Our main public relations goal was to earn positive publicity across Manitoba and Canada and secure as much earned media as possible.

Methodology

Extensive research was conducted developing the brand refresh and how Travel Manitoba wanted to be presented. We took that information to develop a strategy that had maximum outreach based on the target audience: people looking for new tourism opportunities. As this was a broad audience, a large media targeting list was created. It included the top tier Winnipeg outlets and radiated out to include publications across Manitoba and the Country.

As this was a broad audience, a large media targeting list was created. It included the top tier Winnipeg outlets and radiated out to include publications across Manitoba and the Country.

The public relations objectives were four-fold:

  1. Earn positive publicity across Manitoba for the new campaign
  2. Engage leaders within the travel and tourism industry through the introduction of the new campaign
  3. Promote the fact that the new branding campaign was almost entirely the product of local designers, marketers, filmmakers, musicians and others
  4. Emphasize the research and input from stakeholders and focus groups
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Execution

Advanced Pitching & Save the Dates

We began pitching targeted media outlets and journalists in the weeks leading up to the launch event. The aim was to make the outlets aware of the brand launch, encourage them to “save the date” and to set up interviews with key knowledge holders on the day of the media event.

Media Event

On January 9, 2023, we presented the refreshed brand at Travel Manitoba’s arts and culture summit. Premier Heather Stefanson, several ministers, and 220+ attendees were there to experience the launch.

More than 20 reporters attended either in person or online from various news outlets across the province. Media releases were distributed during the event via email and over the newswire with a multimedia media kit in French and English. Top Manitoba social media influencers were also invited and arrived ready to share the event on their platforms.

A hybrid press conference Q&A followed the presentation. Spokespersons from Travel Manitoba, UpHouse and the Government of Manitoba were broadcast to journalists across Canada and able to answer questions through Zoom, facilitated by the UpHouse public relations team.

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Outcome

Media clippings were in outlets from small, local newspapers and radio stations to large, national newspapers and online publications. Clippings featured the emotional connection the refreshed brand makes towards travelling in Manitoba and shared stories from event spokespeople and makers who either helped develop the brand or were instrumental in creating the emotional connection through music, voice, imagery, products and more.

Attending media included:

  • CBC
  • Global News
  • Winnipeg Free Press
  • CTV News
  • CityNews
  • Canadian Press
  • Winnipeg Sun
  • Filipino Journal
  • Brandon Sun
  • CJNE
  • CKDM
  • Thompson Citizen
  • Selkirk Record

Media efforts yielded the following results:

  • 240+ clippings with a reach of 140+ milliontotal potential audiences from online, print,radio and tv (source: Critical Mention)
  • 34 clippings with a reach of 56.6 milliontotal potential audience via Cision Newswire
  • 100% positive sentiment across allmedia coverage
  • Publicity value reached more than $3.8 millionUSD as measured by Critical Mention

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