Natural Appreciation: Driving Visitors for a Record Year in the National Parks

(W)right On’s media relations and communications efforts delivered increased brand and location awareness for impressive annual jump

The Opportunity

Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, with whom WOC works on properties and activities in Sequoia National Parks, took over concessions in neighboring Kings Canyon National Park in Nov. 2013. WOC noted a huge opportunity to amplify communications efforts for the now-united parks and related lodgings, and created a comprehensive plan to complement the existing outline for Sequoia while addressing the unique nuances and audiences of Kings Canyon.

The Solution

Tying in with the current Sequoia strategy, WOC built a PR and communications plan incorporating traditional public relations and media outreach, social media and unique marketing partnerships. Both locations’ goals and efforts were adjusted to support a cohesive “Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks” brand and present a united front to media and potential travelers; as well as take into account the unique draws and attractions within each individual park. In transitioning fragmented hospitality and destination social media and emphasizing all-season opportunities to targeted media outlets, WOC successfully drove heads into beds at properties including Wuksachi Lodge and John Muir Lodge through direct and earned media.

The Results

From Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014:

  • Visits to Sequoia National Park increased by 8%
  • Overnight stays at Sequoia’s Wuksachi Lodge increased by 45%
  • Overnight stays at Kings Canyon’s Grant Grove Village increased by 10.4%
  • Earned 43 media hits with outlets including VIA, NBC Bay Area, Trekaroo and Westways
  • Facebook “Likes” increased by 43%
  • Twitter followers increased by 118%