Press RoomWelcome to the official press room of the Southern Shore Region Destination Marketing Organization (SSRDMO). Before you pick up your pen, your press journey begins here with press releases, fact sheets and new developments about Cape May and Cumberland counties. Find your next story idea, or plan your next trip using the valuable resources provided by the SSDMO including fact-checking, interviews, press itineraries, high-resolution images, or coordination of Familiarization tours for the region.
Press Trips & Media Coverage NJ’s Southern Shore actively cultivates media sources, editors and writers to generate positive editorial coverage of our region. The value of editorial coverage is tremendous because it is seen as an independent endorsement, whereas, paid advertisements can be viewed with cautious eyes. Earning positive publicity can easily be worth hundreds of thousands or more in advertising in print, broadcast and online media.
In 2007, the region generated 3,077 inches in positive publicity with an estimated advertising value of $671,000 and a PR value of $3.35 million. To estimate the value of editorial coverage, we used an established formula: Take the advertising rate the proposed publication charges and apply that to the size of the article. SSRDMO used the conservative five times – PR professionals typically use a factor of 5-10 times the advertising rate – to figure the value of editorial over advertising.
Several tactical actions were also employed as part of the public relations initiatives including the coordination of several FAM trips for travel writers from Quebec and Montreal, fact-checking and statistical background information for writers working on their outlet’s media calendar. Finally, SSRDMO hired a professional photographer who specializes in tourism to shoot and add to our large archive of regional images. The photographer, and the image archive, is managed by an art director and imaging specialist with over 22 years of experience. SSRTC has become well known for providing high quality, high resolution images that can be quickly tailored to meet specific media requests.
Southern Shore’s goal, to generate positive media coverage, is fulfilled annually by the hundreds of articles, complete with stunning photography that are published each year in publications as diverse as the New York Times, Frommers, Family Fun, etc. and also to niche publications catering to fishing, boating, senior life, eco-tourism, golfing, etc. Journalists often write about the places they have stayed, their dining experiences & local cuisine, as well as the activities and events that they have been enjoyed. All of this provides significant positive media exposure.
In FY07, stories about the Canadian’s loyalty to the region, time-honored attractions and new marketing technology dominated the PR about the region. In FY07, newspaper editors, travel writers and web-content writers concentrated heavily on the region’s strong visitor market from the Canadian provinces of Montreal and Quebec, the art scene of Cumberland County, the region’s eco-attractions, the regions’ beach scene and the use of new technology to obtain coverage highlighting an iPod press kit to name a few of the important opportunities for coverage in 2007. The story of the Canadians return to Cape May County and the region garnered a favorable amount of coverage in summer, 2007 generating 347 inches of publicity in US newspapers and 9 ½ pages in Canadian newspapers with an estimated advertising value of $165,000 and PR value of $817,000.
After a decade of declining visitation due to a high unemployment rate and an even higher exchange rate, several economic factors contributed to the surge in Canadian travel to the region including the easy accessibility via car.
While it is true that Canadians love the region’s beaches, eco-attractions and birding options, far and away, the most important factor in the increase in Canadian travel was, and still is, the strength of the Canadian dollar. For the first time in more than 30 years, the Canadian dollar is exchanged in the U.S. at or above par. In order to capture a greater share of the Canadian PR, the SSRDMO worked in conjunction with the Cape May County Department of Tourism to have six press releases translated into French and sent to 123 French Canadian news outlets in Canada.
The media outreach solicited in the language of the Country produced two FAM tours and several stories in 2007, and several pending in 2008. Mario LeClerc of the Montreal de Journal visited the region in June, 2007 and published a seven page story in the July, 2007 issue. Carolyne Parent on assignment for the Canadian-version of Elle Magazine and several local French-Canadian newspapers visited in September, 2007 and published a story in Le Devoir, Les Samedi newspaper in October and November, 2007. The Elle magazine story is slated to publish in Spring, 2008.
Other Public relations highlights included
In March, the Cape May County Department of Tourism bought iPods and loaded them with photographs and press releases to distribute to an elite group of media outlets. The iPod Press Kit garnered several stories on New Jersey Network news and the Press of Atlantic City, to name a few.
In the March/April edition of AAA World, AAA members in the Mid-Atlantic region voted the Beaches in Cape May, The Wildwoods and Ocean City as their number one place to sun.
In April, the article “Flights of Fancy” highlighted the popularity of bird-watching in Cape May in Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
In the April issue of The Washington Post Magazine, an article on the Jersey’s Southern Scene concentrated on the Art Scene in the region. Also in the magazine, reporters wrote about the beaches of Cape May and the Wildwoods. In June, The Washington Post focused on the homey atmosphere of the Jersey Shore.
In July, the first of two familiarization tours of summer, 2007 produced a seven-page article on Cape May and the Wildwoods as a traditional vacation destination for the French Canadian traveler in the Journal de Montreal.
In August, The New York Times wrote about summer’s dwindling days and the seasonal changes upon the region.
In October/November, the first two articles from the second travel writer FAM with an assignment from the Canadian-version of Elle Magazine and several weekly newspapers in Montreal wrote about Wildwoods’ Doo Wop architecture and Cape May’s B & B industry.
In October, DisneyFun.com requested pictures of the Southern Shore Region to post on their website.
Travel websites also highlighted the region’s beaches and boardwalks in Top 10 lists. ShermansTravel.com and MSN travel websites named several of the area’s beach and Boardwalks as part of top 10 lists. This information ran all summer long on the respective websites.
Photographic requests from the State Division of Travel and Tourism, DisneyFun.com, The New York Daily News and The Washington Post among many others provided thousands of dollars in publicity for the region.
Photo Library turns images into thousands of dollars in publicity
To capture the dynamism of the area, the region hired a photographer, Craig Terry, who has taken more than 25,000 digital shots of the Southern Shore attractions. Terry photographed many images in both counties including attractions, events and resorts for release in the Southern New Jersey Vacationer, press releases, brochures and media outlets. As a result, the photo library is one of the largest in the state. Rarely, a week goes by that we are not asked to provide photos of the region for publications and businesses. Photos of the Southern Shore Region were featured in publications such as AAA World, The Washington Post and National Geographic Traveler among others. At a reasonable cost, the SSRDMO finds the photo library is key to the success of the marketing plan especially with the opportunity to fill journalist requests with high-resolution photos resulting in a cost-effective and efficient way to promote the region, and ultimately, New Jersey.
NJ’s Southern Shore identity comes alive as a TV Commercial
A full-scale multi-media campaign launched in February, 2007 on the Comcast Cable Network. Through an RFP process, we selected Shoot The Moon Communications in the FY06 budget to work on developing television ads for the region. The television 30-second spot addressed the question, “How far would you go?” in a three-part series that highlights the beauty of the region, the arts and culture segment and the children’s fun activities. Directed for broadcast in parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, the commercials showcased the region in a way that most would not recognize as an image of New Jersey. SSRDMO wanted the audience to question their preconceived ideas of New Jersey by showing the genuine beauty of the Southern Shore. The creative illustrates the great ways people can experience vacationing in NJ’s southern-most tourism destination by showcasing beautiful scenery and diverse offerings of the beach environment, outdoors, recreation, arts and cultural experiences, entertainment, events, historical attractions and more. In the FY07 budget, the second commercial in the series highlighting the arts and culture segment was produced. Film footage for the third and final commercial in the series is being readied for broadcast in FY08. Working together to attract the same customer has helped to maximize the marketing budget of the region, and ultimately provide more marketing exposure for its membership base and it’s funding partners. CLICK TO WATCH AD HERE