1. Award wins and nominations
2019 was a big year for AM+A. We picked up several industry awards including 'Best Tourism Marketing Agency’ and ‘Best in Responsible Tourism’ at the International Travel and Tourism Awards 2019. Our winning campaigns focused on ‘connecting communities and transforming perceptions’.
We also received a nomination for a CIPR Excellence award in the ‘Travel, Leisure and Tourism’ category for our work supporting Slovenia in receiving UN backing for World Bee Day, as well as a nomination for ‘Best Influencer Marketing Campaign’ at Vuelio’s Online Influence Awards.
2. #ThisMomentNow: wellness & walking the Wales Coast Path
AM+A started the year promoting the mental and physical health benefits of walking along the Wales Coast Path. Our integrated destination marketing campaign involved content creation, digital advertising, targeted social media and SEM. Tactics included media buying, a press trip programme, Google AdWords and a targeted social media campaign.
We successfully hit all the campaign KPIs, with results including:
3. Angel group influencer trip
In November we organised a group influencer trip to showcase the Angel Hotel’s Gourmet Gardening break. It was also the perfect time to shout about The Angel having recently been named ‘Hotel of the Year for Wales’ by the Good Hotel Guide.
We successfully recruited 12 leading culinary influencers from London and Wales, with a combined total of 184,002 Instagram followers. To minimise the cost to client, we also collaborated with Great Western Rail to provide complimentary first class train tickets to the influencers travelling from London.
The trip was a huge success, with 300 Instagram stories posted in just 24 hours, alongside 13 Instagram posts, 17 tweets and 13 Facebook posts.
4. Paisley food fest’s group ‘vegan’ influencer trip
In April this year we promoted the Paisley Food and Drink Festival by organising a group influencer trip for nine of London’s leading vegan influencers to experience the festival’s new 'vegan zone'.
We collaborated with Flybe to be able to offer the influencers complimentary flights between London and Edinburgh. The trip resulted in some huge coverage for the festival, and was nominated for ‘Best Influencer Marketing Campaign’ at Vuelio’s Online Influence Awards.
- 27 - Instagram posts and stories about the festival. 201,000 - total number of Instagram followers of participants, 12,100+ likes, 450+ comments, five blog posts about the festival, OneYouTube video and 605,000 opportunities to see the Paisley brand.
5. Slovenia continues to grow as a leading European destination
2019 has been yet another big year of coverage for Slovenia, now regarded as one of the world’s leading green holiday destinations. We organised a group press trip in May based around the country’s spas and wellbeing. We also helped promote the new 270km Julian Alps Hiking Trail, which launched in October and was specifically designed to tackle over tourism in the destination.
Features published so far in 2019 include The Times, Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, Escapism, The Independent, Olive magazine, Rough Guides and Time Out magazine.
Thanks to press trips organised this year, we’re looking forward to even more high profile Slovenia features for 2020 in The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Independent to name just a few.
6. Celebrating British cuisine in Somerset & Exmoor
As a team of avid foodies, working with Visit Somerset and Visit Exmoor to showcase the region’s wealth of local produce was a real highlight this year. Key activity for our food & drink campaign included a group culinary press trip, individual trips for leading food media and a ‘Somerset and Exmoor in London’ food showcase hosted at the Yeo Valley Café
The team recruited media including The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Australian, Lonely Planet, Flybe magazine and The Guardian to experience a range of brilliant local food & producers such as Thatchers, Yeo Valley and Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company.
The campaign culminated in an exclusive Somerset and Exmoor event in Yeo Valley’s central London Café, featuring a special menu created by Yeo Valley chef Paul Collins with ingredients gifted by a range of local businesses. The event was attended by national journalists, international media, high profile influencers and celebrity Somerset chef Josh Eggleton.
7. AM+A at the World Travel Market 2019
This year's World Travel Market saw us host two media brunch events on the Slovenia stand focusing on two core campaigns for 2020 - Slovenia as the European Region of Gastronomy 2021 and unveiling the new 270km Julian Alps Hiking Trail. We also organised and hosted a busy WTM 40th anniversary celebration event at the Poland stand.
Managing Director Frank Marr hosted an industry discussion on Reputation Management with a panel that included Director of Marketing for Wales Tourism & Business and the Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau.
As a result of our close relationships with the WTM communications teams, our clients featured heavily in the World Travel Market daily publications, offering their insights and predictions for tourism in 2020.
8. Putting Boyne Valley on the map as the home of Halloween
Things got spooky as we headed into October, with the team working on a project to position Ireland’s Ancient East as the home of Halloween launching the new €1.5 million Púca Festival. A group of leading international media including The Sun, The Metro and Press Association traced the origins of Halloween in Boyne Valley, along with exploring the area’s rich cultural history. AM+A secured complementary flights from Stobart Air and Aer Lingus, and worked with a range of partners including local businesses and tour operators to keep costs at a minimum.
The trip resulted in coverage across some of the UK’s biggest national media, French media and a range of regional publications in the UK and Ireland. The press trip coverage generated a total reach of 6,636,372.
9. Promoting Latvia’s sustainable side
In June we began working with Latvia to prove why there’s much more to the country than just the capital, Riga. We wanted to showcase Latvia as a leading green, sustainable destination by emphasising local culture, food, drink and experiences.
We hosted two themed group press trips and recruited media including The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Culture Trip, Wanderlust and National Geographic Traveller magazine. We also organised individual itineraries for The Independent, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Time Out, Evening Standard and Lonely Planet Traveller magazine.
Coverage that we’ve generated for Latvia has exposed the brand to an audience of 4,316,439, with several more features scheduled for publication in early 2020.
10. Agency life
We kick-started 2019 by ditching sugar, simultaneously shedding some excess Christmas baggage while raising £643 for Cancer Research UK. Shortly afterwards we were joined by our latest recruit Becca who has already proven herself a very capable PR assistant.
During summer we upped sticks and moved from Hackney Wick to Bethnal Green, thus beginning our new life at The Pill Box. Meanwhile our Managing Director Frank Marr completed a Sustainable Leadership course with Cambridge University, as well as speaking at the MENA conference and China Britain Trade Expo in Westminster.
We also continued to develop our service offering - Jess completed a course in graphic design at UAL while Tom underwent further training in Google AdWords.