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Sometimes, friends will point out to me an article they come across that mentions Galveston. In many, not all, cases, these articles result from a concerted effort on the part of the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau’s public relations efforts.
These efforts are multi-faceted and are part of a strategic plan that involves building relationships with regional media outlets and hosting events that bring Galveston partners to those media outlets for one-on-one conversations.
The bureau’s public relations team divides its responsibilities among regional and national markets. As the department’s director, I handle the Austin market and national media.
Other public relations managers work with media in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and touch states like Louisiana and Oklahoma.
As the organization’s public relations director, I manage the Austin market. I travel there about four times a year to meet with writers, pitch stories to them and develop relationships with members of the media. I’ll also make appearances on Austin television news programs to talk about the island.
An annual media event that brings together Galveston partners with Austin media members has done much to develop and build important relationships essential to realizing publicity goals.
The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau hosted an event last week that brought together our partners and more than 20 representatives of Austin media outlets.
The results of one-on-one meetings and the media events have resulted in travel feature stories in several Austin-based publications.
Recently, the Austin American-Statesman featured Galveston on the cover of its Sunday travel section. Tribeza magazine, the Austin Chronicle, Texas Lifestyles, and Texas Highways have run Galveston features.
And, The Medallion, a subscription-based publication put out by the Texas Historical Commission and sent to more than 50,000 history enthusiasts, featured a story about day sails on the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa in its most recent edition.
I also reach out directly to potential visitors when I exhibit at the annual Texas Book Festival. The event draws 40,000 people to downtown Austin — many of them families.
Typically held in the fall, the event is a great opportunity for me to promote Galveston’s holiday events and attractions.
This public relations strategy, coupled with regular press release distribution and custom pitching to writers, takes place in all of the bureau’s target markets and have come a long way in helping promote the destination with the goal of attracting engaged visitors.
The Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau has identified engaged visitors as those who travel farther to get here, spend more time here and are generally more invested in Galveston.
Park Board meetings are typically held at 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesdays of the month at 601 23rd St.
Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.