The global pandemic halted travel and quickly altered lives in unprecedented ways. Heading into peak travel season and knowing the vital importance tourism plays in Michigan’s economy, we needed a strategy that would keep travel destinations throughout the state top of mind until the stay at home restrictions were lifted.
When cancellations and closures began to hit, we jumped to implement #VirtualPureMichigan, an integrated social and PR campaign to promote ways to virtually experience the state. Immediately, social content transitioned to visuals, driving to “virtual” resources like 360-degree experiences, travel inspiring video call backdrops to transport yourself and loved ones to sunnier times and live videos of cultural attractions. The social content was supported through a landing page (michigan.org/virtualtravel) and outreach that hit media’s inboxes at exactly the point at which more positive news was being sought. New information was continuously shared across owned and earned channels to keep Michigan travel inspiration on people’s radars. The evolution of what started as a quick, important pivot to support travel partners throughout Michigan included a virtual week-long entertainment series to benefit the state’s hospitality workers which raised tens of thousands of dollars and led to the creation of a new brand campaign.
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