As the North American PR and brand stewards for the island of Saint Lucia for seven years, we were continually engaged in creating integrated, multi-year campaigns that have a lasting, positive impact on the destination’s image and – more importantly – set the island apart in the Caribbean. Such was the case when the Saint Lucia Tourist Board sought to raise the island’s culinary credibility.
With a destination known for its beaches and tropical romance…convincing the media to care about Saint Lucia’s culinary offerings required creativity and some elbow grease. But we’ve tasted Saint Lucian chocolate and so we DEFINITELY knew where to begin.
Our creation of the annual August Saint Lucia Chocolate Heritage Month was deliciously multifaceted and provided compelling off-season “reasons to come” for visitors. To bring it to life, we…
- Researched the island’s legendary history for producing distinctive chocolate
- Worked directly with on-island businesses, hotels, restaurants, spas, and plantation owners to create an annual series of consumer offerings
- Created the Saint Lucia Chocolate Heritage Trail as a way to market the various culinary offerings in an accessible, promotable, and consumer-friendly way
- Created a full complement of print and digital marketing tools and consumer resource materials, including an interactive Chocolate Heritage Trail map available online
- Secured Saint Lucian-born chef Nina Compton – fan favorite on Bravo TV’s Top Chef – to become the destination’s culinary ambassador, for videos, media interviews, cooking demos, and more
- Annual press trips and individual journalist visits, with special chocolate themed itineraries timed for seasonal stories
Just how tasty were the results? More than 30 editorial feature stories supporting the positioning of Saint Lucia as a leading culinary destination appeared in the first two years of the campaign alone. Feature coverage included T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Saveur, and The Washington Post (see above for all three), plus Essence, New York Daily News, Miami Herald, Virtuoso Life, and more. All this culinary coverage – ignited by the chocolate angles – led to a strong image shift for the destination over the life of the campaign.