A shot in the arm for tourism

Taking home four Golds and the coveted Grand Prix at the recently held Pressie Awards, Special PR’s GM Kelly Grindle, shares why his agency’s campaign for Tourism Fiji, was such an effective use of media relations.

The campaign: A ‘Booster of Happiness’ for Dr Bloomfield

The client: Tourism Fiji

The agency: Special PR

The result: Gold winner in Best Use of Media Relations category

What was the most compelling insight behind this campaign?

We simply paired a real-life moment from the news agenda – Ashley Bloomfield was resigning and in need of a break – with our brand platform of the place where “happiness finds you.” If anyone deserved a much-needed holiday after the last few years, it was Dr Bloomfield. So we offered him a “booster of happiness in Fiji.”

Why do you think it won gold?

This had all the ingredients for PR success – it was funny, it was reactive, it was topical and it was visually appealing. The idea of ‘content-driven’ media relations has had a lot of traction overseas in markets such as the UK, the US and Australia. New Zealand has a much smaller and more limited media landscape, which makes launching a story in this manner much riskier – but it also feels fresh and different, which is why we think it was such a hit.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while creating the campaign?

We had some slight nervousness about how Dr Bloomfield would react to our invitation – we were essentially hijacking the influence of a public figure without permission. There is a strong social good element around New Zealand helping with Fiji’s economic recovery through the return of Fiji, and therefore Ashley responded with total enthusiasm. We even worked with him to regift the holiday to a deserving frontline worker – Trish, who managed the Greymouth Women’s Refuge office. He was a complete champion.

What is your biggest learning?

Content is key! Our video invitation was essentially a one-minute advertisement to show off the stunning landscapes and people of Fiji. By putting energy into crafting a stunning visual asset, it became our de-facto “advertisement” for Fiji as a destination; and given the primetime broadcast coverage it received it was well worth the investment.

What does it mean to you to win Gold at The Pressies?

To win gold, when the landscape is that good and that competitive, is truly humbling. There are a tonne of other campaigns – in both the gold and silver categories – that we think are fantastic, and we’re lucky to be recognised alongside them.  

This article was originally published in the Dec/Jan 2022/23 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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