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PR & Social Media Support

Marketing and public relations are key to bringing people to your business, farm, ranch museum or outdoor recreation experience. These tools take hours of time and specialized skills so they aren’t always in your budget. The Colorado Tourism Office Destination Development program wants to offer our help with FREE public relations and social marketing services providing access to over 700,000 Facebook fans, 220,000 twitter followers and thousands of impressions and media outlets. Here’s how you can take advantage of this awesome resource: Colorado.com.

Meet your Colorado Tourism Office Destination Development Team:

  • Jill Corbin, Colorado Tourism Office, Director of Destination Development, [email protected]
  • Elizabeth O’Rear, Colorado Tourism Office, Manager of Destination Development, [email protected]

1. Get Started with a PR 101

What is public relations?
Public relations is the practice of facilitating the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Often, public relations is part of a broader marketing strategy and is considered a way to gain media or editorial exposure without direct costs. The aim of tourism public relations is to raise awareness of a destination or tourism experience, which in-turn increases visitors.

What does a PR plan look like?
In order to create a PR plan for your business, start by defining your strategy and the objectives you would like to achieve (i.e. generate additional tourism business, get the word out about an event or activity, etc.). Then, add the core elements to outline how you plan to achieve your objectives (i.e., update web site calendar, email blast, press release to CTO and local tourism organization). You can then devise unique and newsworthy story ideas about your business or products to attract media interest. It’s also good to identify your audience and the type of media that are likely to be interested in stories about your business—for example is it relevant to your local newspaper or a regional travel magazine? Plus, it’s also good to think about how relevant your news is for that publication.

How do I create my own PR plan? Keep it simple:

  • Understand your product/business/event; create a fact sheet and write down the key points of your message.
  • Define the goals of a public relations program.
  • Review your business plan basics — what is your target market, marketing components, primary objectives, etc.
  • Take a look at what your competitors or other similar businesses are doing
  • Listen to what your customers say about you and your competitors
  • Identify a spokesperson/expert.

Once I’m PR-ready, how do I share my information with the CTO DD PR team?
In this digital age, email is preferred. However, we invite your call, welcome the chance to visit, and look forward to your letters. We can use your information in whatever way you prefer to communicate with us! Send us quick updates in an email with a summary description, bullet point lists, images, website and contact information, and we can follow up with any questions.

What kind of PR activity does the CTO DD team focus on?
The CTO PR team serves as a press office, handling inquiries from the press about travel and tourism news. The CTO team sends out two monthly press releases, one that specifically focuses on Destination Development and rural tourism news. The team is also “pitching” journalists on story ideas using news tips sent in from businesses across the state. The team also identifies key media trends that writers might be interested in to do this. Throughout the year, the team also sends journalists on “fam” trips around the state, usually on a tailored itinerary based on a specific story focus.

2. Next ... Get Connected

Sign up for the CTO PR Hot Sheet and Colorado Connections Industry Newsletters. Released monthly, these emails highlight business opportunities like available grants, upcoming events, PR and journalist opportunities, monthly social media focus, and what’s happening across the state.

3. Getting Better...

Stay connected at the local and state level. Make sure you’re on the Colorado Tourism Office radar.

  • Enter your business and event listing on Colorado.com.  We use the information/images/events listed on the Colorado.com website to include in our press releases, posts, pitches and newsletters. If you aren’t entered in our website database, we can’t talk about and promote your events or business. The Roots guide listings are pulled from Colorado.com!
  • Once you are listed on Colorado.com link back to them! You will receive better search results when we link to each other. Adding a link to colorado.com anywhere on your site or from your social media posts, along with a sentence about getting inspired by or planning a Colorado vacation, helps ensure visitors looking for unique local travel experiences will find your site.
  • Share photos of your business or destination on Visit Colorado Facebook page and other social channels. With more than 700,000 FB followers and 220,000 Twitter followers, we can spread the word to potential visitors! Please send photos to David Fluegge, [email protected].
  • Tell us what you’re up to! We welcome information about your business — events, updates, press releases, newsletters, ideas, etc. Email or call, we look forward to hearing about Destination Development happenings in your area.
  • Share information and events with your local tourism office. If you need help contacting them, we can help connect the dots and get you in touch with your tourism office, convention visitors bureau, chambers of commerce, etc.
  • To keep us up-to-date with happenings in your neck of the woods, put the entire CTO PR/Social team on your distribution lists for press releases:

4. Now You’re Ready...

Make the connection work in your favor. If you are ready for more on the marketing front, here are some ideas to keep you going. Let us know how we may help you!

  • Host a familiarity tour (FAM) for the CTO team, public relations and social team. We visit each region of the state to learn and become familiarized with the area. Hands on experience allow us to share information more authentically and creatively. We look forward to your invitation and the opportunity to experience what you’re up to!
  • Host a visiting journalist. Members of the media regularly visit Colorado to find out what’s new. They’re always looking for fun, unique opportunities and stories. Do you want them to visit your business, stay overnight, attend your event, try your craft product? Contact [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].
  • Participate in quarterly CTO media receptions. The CTO hosts industry partners and local journalists for a social event to sample Colorado products, mingle, and showcase the state’s latest news and story ideas. Maybe we can serve your craft beer, sample your new cheese or feature your flavorful produce? Contact [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].
  • Provide product samples for media gift bags. What better way for a member of the press to understand your product then to sample, smell, feel or taste it? Please let us know if you have unique products to add to our gift bags. Contact [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].
  • Provide prizes for sweepstakes, contests, and promotions. We need products, overnight stays, meals and “schwag” for Facebook giveaway prizes. Contact Dave Fluegge.
  • Make an appearance on our Instagram channel. Every week a different destination in Colorado takes over the CTO Instagram social channel. This easy to use option is a simple and effective way to get your pictures and information out to over 125,000 followers. For information on the Instagram program, contact Dave Fluegge. Please note: Individual businesses should connect with their local tourism authority to find out how they can be included in this opportunity.

 


Questions?
Please contact Jill Corbin, CTO Director of Destination Development, [email protected]
Elizabeth O’Rear, CTO Manager of Destination Development, [email protected].us