With the Instagramming and influencer-ing of travel media, you’d think PR firms wouldn’t matter anymore. The opposite’s happened; with so much clutter out there, getting guidance on your brand and messages matters more than ever. And let’s not even talk about managing crises—how many natural disasters have we had this year? Here are our selections for 2018’s notable travel PR firms—the top seven also made our 2018 PR Power 50.
Speaking of that, definitely spend some time with the PR Power 50, our yearly effort (which takes, pretty much, the entire year to put together) honoring the 50 PR firms that we feel have made the biggest, most exciting moves over the course of 2018.
In just seven years, Finn Partners has cemented its place as a powerhouse independent with big corporate clients, like AirFrance and South Africa, as their growth strategy expands more and more into travel & hospitality. Read more about Finn Partners, our No. 3 overall firm, in this year’s PR Power 50
DKC claims “one of the largest hospitality practices of any full-service public relations firm”, and clients like Delta, Princess Cruises, and W Hotels back that up. Read more about DKC in this year’s PR Power 50
HL Group’s Lynn Tesoro proved her own thought leadership this year with the hiring of former Departures publisher Steven DeLuca as CMO—a new position for PR, not just for her firm—as it expands into categories like travel and hospitality. Read more about HL Group in this year’s PR Power 50
Quinn’s potent mix of earned media, partnerships, content creation, strategic influencer marketing and big ideas continues to lure brand-name clients: Miami Beach’s Bal Harbour Village, Club Med, Legoland N.Y. Resort, and Mr Chow came on this year, joining a host of hospitality and real-estate projects. Founder Florence Quinn also launched an ultra-luxury division this year, with clients like security firm Gavin de Becker and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Read more about Quinn in this year’s PR Power 50
J’s signature is a wide-ranging portfolio of hotels and destinations that still feels hand-picked. The firm, founded by two college pals, is poised to break the $10 million revenue mark in 2019. That bottom line’s buoyed by big new accounts like Visit North Carolina and Visit Utah, prestige projects like Setai Miami Beach, and longtime loyalists like Relais & Chateaux and Ritz-Carlton. Read more about J Public Relations in this year’s PR Power 50
LaForce earns its stripes by bridging high and low, creativity and strategy, traditional media and effective social, with wins this year including gym-inspired Equinox Hotels. Read more about LaForce in this year’s PR Power 50
Still as involved as ever after selling her eponymous firm to global marketers MMGY, Nancy Friedman and her growing crew represent an atlas’ worth of destinations, along with more hotels than you’ll ever stay in. Among this year’s wins: California, Dallas, British Virgin Islands, Rhode Island, Generator Hotels, Marriott. Read more about NJF in this year’s PR Power 50
Laura Davidson’s highly esteemed shop melds traditional media and social/influencer power for quality clients like Abercrombie & Kent, Azores Getaways, Atlantis Resort, and the newly fancy Mount Airy Casino Resort. Davidson’s always emphasized doing good while doing well, and the firm’s also constantly involved in nonprofit initiatives, from sponsoring teachers at a primary school in Benin to sending soccer gear to schools in Kenya and Antigua.
Brandman’s a reliable, respected firm with wide reach: some Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, and Moxy properties, plus destinations like Scottsdale and Victoria, Australia—with satellites in L.A., London, and Sydney to serve them. Founder Melanie Brandman’s web site bio refers to her as “Girl boss… Melanie Brandwoman… Unflappable in the boardroom, on a boat, or on the streets.”
Where do you want to go? DCI’s probably got it as a client, from Brussels to Chattanooga, Chile to Japan, Peru to Portugal. The destination-marketing firm also runs a busy practice advising chambers of commerce, business alliances, and economic development agencies on amplifying their messages. DCI also researches and publishes sought-after industry reports like this year’s A View from Meeting Planners: Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing, yours for $99.
First-class cabin of “experiential travel” clients, including luxury tour provider Jacada Travel, upscale-adventure provider Quasar Expeditions, The Broadway Collection’s NYC events and venues, and Singita’s pampering back-to-nature lodges worldwide. Luxury home-exchange site ThirdHome is also booked here, along with slightly offbeat clients like the Slovenia Tourist Board and Niseko Village in Japan.
Turner flexes serious muscle for destinations, including Toronto, Albuquerque, N.M., Utah, Bermuda, and… Nebraska! Their outdoorsy lifestyle clients often overlap with travel too, including Obermeyer, Fjällräven, Alpha Industries, and Duluth Trading Co.