Case Study: Grand Hotel Delivers Delightful 132nd Season

By: Katie Higgins

One of the most charming, historic and beloved hotels in the country is Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The famed resort has welcomed celebrities, presidents and families and more to enjoy a classic American summer. When the historic resort sought fresh visibility for their 132nd season, they turned to Identity to forge the right relationships, tell the right stories, and connect with the right audiences to ensure a vibrant and delightful year.

From new and unique activities at the resort to showcasing prestigious awards and telling the stories that truly matter to Grand Hotel and its’ audiences, our goal was to elevate the resort’s visibility in the media and beyond. Below is an outline of the strategic media relations, marketing and creative development work we accomplished for Grand Hotel in 2018:

Planning Makes Perfect

We began by developing creative new ideas in the winter months in order to attract premiere media outlets in time for the doors to open in the spring. By developing a visually compelling and informative media kit brochure and building segmented mailing lists—including special gift packages designed to create a memorable experience—we were able to develop relationships with key media influencers from publications ranging from FOX News Radio to Travel + Leisure, CondeNast and Wanderlust Travel Magazine.

Curating the Right Stories

Our goal was to establish a strong cadence of media coverage from May to October by creating and executing a robust month-by-month media strategy for the high season to ensure an engaging mix of story opportunities ranging from premiere award announcements to special themed weekend packages, holidays, events and more. We adapted each story opportunity to be the right fit for our media targets, which included broadcast TV, radio, statewide and national consumer media, national trade publications, travel magazines, and local news outlets in key markets in Michigan and across the country.

Going Beyond Earned Media

At the same time, we augmented our earned media strategy by managing media sponsorship opportunities, facilitated blogger and influencer visits, researched inbound media inquiries, and securing two high-impact giveaways with prominent Detroit TV stations. Our team also developed creative ideas for event activations, social media promotions, video concepts, and more.

Generating Strong Results

All told, we generated 106 media placements in statewide, regional and national news publications—which includes news articles and features, broadcast TV segments, radio interviews and more.

Media highlights include articles in the MSN Canada, CBS Chicago, Chicago Art Journal, WSYR-TV in Syracuse, NY, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, WXYZ, WDIV, FOX 2 News, WZZM, 9 & 10 News, MLive, Hotel Executive, Hotel News Now, Memorable Meetings, and more. Our work reached more than 216 million readers and viewers locally and around the country.

With an eye for unique stories and an open mind for the right media and influencers who reach our target audiences, our work for Grand Hotel from both a strategy and execution standpoint delivered a truly remarkable swath of visibility opportunities throughout a successful 132nd season.