PR opportunities in the coming year

The upcoming release of the final Hobbit movie is being celebrated as a reason to visit New Zealand in a very special and unique way, Rebecca Ingram, General Manager PR and Major Events told participants of Tourism New Zealand's (TNZ) recent industry webinar.

The Hobbit Fan Fellowship competition, in conjunction with Air New Zealand and Warner Brothers, will see competition winners from across the globe embark on a journey of a lifetime through Middle Earth, culminating in the ultimate experience - a private pre-screening of the final Hobbit movie The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, in the company of Sir Peter Jackson.  

"We've had a decade of opportunity related to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films and our work with the Fan Fellowship contest is our major activation ahead of The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies release," says Rebecca.

This opportunity will be maximised with up to 50-strong international media accompanying the fans documenting the journey and experiences and sharing them globally.

The September webinar was a chance for the tourism industry to get up to date with Tourism New Zealand's PR strategy for the next financial year - as well as its global campaign activity.

The diversity and quality of last year's International Media Programme (IMP) results can be seen by watching the highlight reel below.

And this year we'll see more of the same as TNZ aims to bring 220 international media to New Zealand.

Rebecca also discussed the merits of enlisting celebrities as key influencers to entice people to New Zealand, with the appreciation that when endorsement comes from popular and appealing influencers the impact is even stronger. An approach that TNZ will continue to use in the coming year.

Another element of TNZ's PR strategy is to take advantage of opportunities where the spotlight is already on New Zealand, and leverage them to gain maximum exposure in target markets.

The royal visit earlier this year was very positive for New Zealand with Kate and William delighting in everything from jet boating to wine tasting.

Hundreds of images promoted across the globe of the Duke and Duchess enjoying a drop of New Zealand's finest wine, or competing against each other America's Cup-style exemplify the variety of experiences and fun to be had here.

Rebecca adds, "And put into dollar terms, we're talking an equivalent advertising spend of NZD $69 million from this short visit alone."

While the decade of middle-earth filmmaking and releases is soon to draw to a close and while ongoing tourism dollars are expected to keep flowing for a long time yet, TNZ is looking ahead to the next opportunities.  

"We're already gearing up for two mega events in the New Year - Cricket World Cup in February -March 2015 (co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia) and the FIFA under 20s in May-June," says Rebecca.

CWC is the third largest world sporting event with an expected audience of 2.2 billion people worldwide. The FIFA under 20s will be a useful hook for attracting our emerging Latin America market, as well as well as being a key youth focus globally.

"A great fit for us.

"And we can't do any of this without the help of the RTOs and tourism operators.

"We've got a lot going on - whether it's Hobbit activity, major sporting events, the IMP programme or working with high impact media. We thank the industry for their help to date. And look forward to working with them even more in the coming year," says Rebecca.

Rebecca Ingram

General Manager PR and Major Events