Case Studies of Donna’s Success:
Fireball Run is a TV series in which drivers race across a region of the U.S. to collect clues to Recover America’s Missing Children.
It is a promotional vehicle to showcase tourism destinations, hotels, regional retailers and restaurants.
Donna Balancia was called upon to provide the celebrities at the opening of the race and at the finish line. But Donna took that task one step further.
Donna researched the consumer fan base for each town along the race route and worked with advertisers to schedule the race car driver and the astronaut into morning news programs that carried the commercial message. Each day during their drive across the South, Donna wrote copy and talking points for the celebs, arranged, and scheduled interviews to fulfill the marketing plan.
Interview arrangements and bookings were made by Donna with the TV and radio stations and news outlets
This procedure is an intensive, deadline-oriented effort that requires direct outreach to producers, editors, bookers and interviewers.
Briefed: Educated the journalists and show producers
Responded to their questions
Created: Wrote and provided biographies and important information about the famous astronaut and NASCAR driver prior to their interviews each day.
Prepared: Winston and Geoff on what questions they could expect from the hosts of the TV, radio show and newspaper interviewers
Socialized: Put excerpts from the interviews as promotional bytes on Facebook, Twitter and WordPress sites and blogs, promoting through social media.
Hundreds of Thousands of Impressions, Superior Media Exposure and High ROI
The results were plentiful and beautifully delivered news presentations that helped lend great notoriety to each destination along the route while promoting the client destination, where the Celebrity Drivers live and vacation.
The reciprocal advertising value was estimated at more than $350,000.
In fewer than three hours a day, Donna achieved for the destinations of Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; and Jacksonville, Fla., more than 750,000 impressions and hundreds of thousands of dollars in media exposure and value.
And a wonderful sidelight: America’s Missing Children, were found and brought home.
DONNA BALANCIA Promotes Local Beaches to Procure The #1 Selection on Dr. Beach ‘Best Beach’ List
Donna Balancia’s strategic marketing and PR campaign paid off:
Florida Beaches were named the #1 Atlantic Destination on Dr. Beach’s “Best Beach” in Florida List.
Florida’s Eastern Shore has many diverse beach environments.
The region was facing a devastating downturn with the end of NASA’s Shuttle Program as thousands were laid off.
Creating the Plan
To keep visitors coming to the destination, a campaign was needed and Donna Balancia was asked to create a plan.
The beaches on Florida’s Eastern Shore range from Daytona, a bustling visitor community that caters to families and younger vacationers to Vero Beach, located further south, a quiet community with privately owned hotels and sedate ambiance.
Background: Facing an extremely tough local economy and a tight client budget, Donna suggested that a national press hit in USA Today would be key. As Donna had worked at Gannett and had contacts at the company, it could be possible to leverage relationships and good will.
The Request: Donna was aware that beach-based vacation destinations around the world eagerly anticipate the Dr. Beach Best Beaches lists.
In addition to the Dr. Beach World’s Best Beaches list, the Miami-based scientist and university professor releases a prestigious “Florida’s Best Beach” list every year.
Achieving a ranking on a Dr. Beach list can mean millions of dollars in increased tourism revenue and priceless value in free word-of-mouth advertising.
The Challenge: Tourism representatives approached Donna Balancia and asked, “How do we get on that Dr. Beach list?”
Though there were diverse interests and vacation assets throughout the region, Donna presented a unified front to the famous reviewer Dr. Beach.
Donna planned and held strategic meetings together with the businesses and representatives the area, to create a unified brand to present.
Donna then reached out to Dr. Beach and relayed her clients’ collective desire to make the list.
Donna Balancia asked Dr. Beach directly for criteria that would enable the region to rank on his coveted list.
Donna put together an agenda and held another series of meetings with members of the community to discuss this important initiative and enlist the support of hotels and restaurants to participate.
Donna pooled together resources of the community and arranged an itinerary for the famous beach reviewer that included nature tours, social engagements, and outdoor and beach activities. This was done as a result of Dr. Beach saying he had not visited the area in many years.
Donna’s team guided the scientist and reviewer. It was a successful familiarization trip.
Florida’s Eastern Shore is named the #1 Atlantic Beach destination in Florida.
In addition to two stories in USA Today, Trip Advisor created a story based on the accomplishment of making the list.
Then of course, all the regional newspapers, websites and TV stations picked up the story.
Donna drove a remarkable promotional program that resulted in three nationwide media pieces and a USA Today marketing campaign that in total yielded more than 5 million impressions and was valued at more than $2.7 million dollars.