Tourism Public Relations Successes and Looking Ahead to 2020 and 2021

The Colorado Tourism Office’s new fiscal year began on July 1, and our public relations staff and contractors have been busy measuring their successes from the past year and compiling their public relations plan for last fiscal year (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020). Below outlines highlights as well as ways the industry can get involved.

Top public relations highlights

Last fiscal year, total coverage generated by our public relations team resulted in a media value of $128,102,709, a 14% increase from the previous fiscal year.

Total coverage generated by the Colorado Tourism Office public relations staff and contractors resulted in 1,897,191,778 impressions, a .5% increase from the previous fiscal year..

We secured 145 placements in their top 100 target outlets, a 13% increase from the previous fiscal year. We drafted and distributed 28 press releases and hosted more than 50 journalists from top target outlets to experience Colorado firsthand.

The group focused on securing major feature coverage (quality versus quantity) achieving Colorado-focused articles in outlets including:

  • The New York Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Lonely Planet Magazine
  • Forbes
  • The Pioneer Woman Magazine
  • Organic Spa Magazine
  • Austin American-Statesman
  • Outside online
  • USA TODAY Go Escape
  • Robb Report
  • United Hemispheres
  • Vogue online

We traveled to New York, Washington DC, and Chicago/Minneapolis to meet with journalists to discuss Colorado story ideas.

We developed a plan for next fiscal year that builds awareness for Colorado as a premier four-season, four-corner vacation destination by generating strong coverage in our top 100 target outlets. The plan incorporates the Colorado Tourism Office roadmap’s four foundational pillars of compete, create, steward and advocate into seven public relations campaigns and areas of focus.

Industry partners are encouraged to please share news, trends, and story angles related to these topics.

New campaigns

The new campaigns include:

  1. Elevate awareness of the Colorado Tourism Office and its programs
  2. Showcase Colorado’s sustainability initiatives and ecotourism offerings
  3. Inspire travelers to explore Colorado’s roots and roads less traveled
  4. Position Colorado as the state of wellness, and the healthiest state in the country
  5. Show travelers why Colorado is snow’s perfect state
  6. Promote Colorado for all highlight what’s new and best ofs

Each campaign will include:

  • Visiting journalists program
  • Writing, pitching and press releases
  • Destination development
  • Stewardship

Strategies for outreach and promotion

We have a goal to attract at least 35 top staff and freelance writers from our top 100 target outlets to visit Colorado and write feature stories about their experiences. Tourism public relations industry partners are an integral component of this strategy by providing itinerary and hosting assistance.

To broaden awareness of Colorado in top target media markets, we will travel in-market to top visiting regions to conduct deskside meetings with journalists.

Planned markets include:

  • August 20–23, 2019: Deskside meetings are being coordinated in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa with Vail Resorts and Colorado Ski Country to discuss top winter travel news and trends with area journalists.
  • January 2020: Deskside meetings will take place in New York City to showcase late winter and preview summer offerings.
  • February 2020: Deskside meetings will take place in a to-be-determined market to promote summer/fall in Colorado.

We host four quarterly media receptions each year to gather industry partners and local journalists to discuss the state’s latest news and story angles. Each reception is attended by 20 industry partners and an upwards of 30 Colorado journalists and provides an excellent opportunity for industry partners to meet and pitch local media.

Throughout the upcoming year, we will conduct industry outreach to develop story ideas and service media requests. We have developed a pitch and press release editorial calendar based on travel trends, major events/anniversaries, and top searched topics on

Currently, we are working on compiling what’s new for winter information that encompasses new activity offerings, restaurants, hotels, hotel packages, events, and anniversaries. If you have exciting news to share for the winter season and 2020, please send details to Caitlin Johnson.

We distribute a monthly Hot Sheet to industry partners that includes information about upcoming press releases, social media content opportunities, journalist leads, information on new and noteworthy media outlets and more. Sign up to receive this email to stay on top of opportunities to engage with the program.

Add the Colorado Tourism Office public relations staff members and contractors to your press release distribution lists.

Thank you for your continued partnership.