Pensacola Celebrity Chefs Sell-out Dinner at the James Beard House in NYC
In October 2014, the Pensacola Celebrity Chefs, a group of five Pensacola chefs that I was in charge of during my time at Visit Pensacola, were invited to put on their fourth James Beard House dinner in four consecutive years. To ensure that this event got as much buzz as possible, social influencers were leveraged as well as food media outlets in the New York City area. Planning an event remotely can present its challenges, but this event came together beautifully and exceeded all expectations. Like the three events before it, this was also a sold-out dinner. The difference from past events is that many of the culinary elite in New York City were present. Some of these familiar names include Carla Hall of ABC's "The Chew", Chef Virginia Willis, Chefs James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst and representatives from "The Daily Meal", "The Food Network", and editors from many other outlets.
A few vital statistics
Generated more than $200K in free media coverage
Had media reach of nearly 9 million people
Personal connections were made with more than 24 food editors
Won a Florida Public Relations Association Award of Distinction
Pensacola Celebrity Chefs do
James Beard House in NYC
Pensacola Named USA Today's 2015 Best Florida Beach
In 2015, Gulf Islands National Seashore was nominated for Best Florida Beach in USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. The contest allowed the public to vote once per day, per device for their favorite beach in Florida, and the polls were open for a month. Pensacola had very stiff competition, especially when you consider the fact that the population of most of these cities was much larger than Pensacola's. Even so, through several tactics and very diligent promotion, our Gulf Islands National Seashore came out on top!
Made business cards with vital voting information - gave them to local businesses to display, passed them out at community events, etc
Leveraged local media: I went on several local radio and television shows to encourage people to vote. Asked media to share voting information on their social media.
Used celebrity influencers: Throughout my time running Visit Pensacola's social media, I discovered many social influencers who were fans of the Pensacola Bay Area. I tweeted, called or emailed these individuals and sent them the proper links and photos to share with their followers. I think these social influencers really helped push us over the top. Some of these influencers included Scott Armstrong and some of the top WWE wrestlers like Roman Reigns, The Uso Brothers, and Brian "Road Dogg" James. Did you know that these guys are all from Pensacola? Other big names include Pensacola-area native and two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson, Kathy Lee Gifford, Taylor Hicks, and more.
Scott Armstrong, who has more than 309K followers, tweeted this photo along with voting details.
Bubba Watson tweeted this to his, at the time, 1.3 million followers.
The Uso Brothers got more than 150 retweets and 540 likes from their 1.05 million followers for this tweet.
Kathie Lee Gifford tweeted her support to her 829K followers!
When WWE Champion Roman Reigns tweeted this to his nearly 2 million followers, it got more than 2,100 retweets and nearly 7,800 likes.
Throughout my time at Visit Pensacola, I coordinated all commercial film shoots of Escambia County. I processed requests for filming in the area, scouted for locations, assembled local crew members to supplement out of town film crews, coordinated film permits and worked with local businesses and governmental entities to ensure the best experience for the crew and the community. A few of the outlets I have worked with are listed below...
NBC's Today Show
The Travel Channel
Chicago 24/7 City Secrets
Coordinated the filming of a Pensacola episode of the PBS show "Family Travel with Colleen Kelly". It was a huge undertaking, but a great success.
Worked with the Today Show producers to coordinate Pensacola's portion of Rokerthon 2015.
Worked with the Blue Angels to incorporate them into Pensacola's portion of Rokerthon 2015.
I coordinated with ESPN to shoot a few episodes of "Draft Academy" in Pensacola. Los Angeles Rams Running Back Todd Gurley is being interviewed here.
Coordinated with VISIT FLORIDA on a satellite media tour at Eden Condominium in Perdido Key. During the media tour, Dr. Beach reached an audience of more than 7.2 million people through 26 broadcast network affiliates (including The Weather Channel) and radio stations.
I coordinated the filming of a Pensacola episode of the WGN show "24/7 City Secrets". This particular image was from a segment we filmed at the top of Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum.
This is from a media trip with travel writer Becky Beall of The Travel Voice by Becky. We filmed segments for a Pensacola episode of her web series and did a live taping of her podcast at a Pensacola Blue Wahoos baseball game.