Summer FAM Trips: Keep Your Cool When Things Get Hot

September 6, 2018

Ah, summer in Washington. When I moved to Seattle from Milwaukee, Washington’s summer was the recurring selling point. “Six months of gloom will be worth it—I swear!” And after nearly finishing my first Seattle summer, I couldn’t agree more. This is the place to be. But when you have a tourism client and are tasked with bringing travel reporters and influencers to the area, you might need some extra convincing. Not to mention, planning.

Barokas works with Washington’s north central region, affectionately dubbed “Washington’s Playground.” Comprised of Chelan, Leavenworth, Wenatchee and Cashmere, Washington’s Playground is filled with natural resources such as towering mountains and crystal-clear lakes, but it’s also home to wineries, breweries, local restaurants and a quaint Bavarian village.

In order to boost summer tourism and increase brand awareness for Washington’s Playground, Barokas tapped into key travel, adventure and lifestyle influencers to promote the area with a first summer FAM trip in July. We also leveraged media relationships to reach impactful reporters for Bustle and Travel Channel—both important publications to Washington’s Playground’s target audience.

From drafting contracts to creating carefully curated itineraries for each guest, the Barokas team handled all aspects of trip coordination. PR person? Travel agent? Virtual tour guide? Yeah, we got you. After all, the ultimate goal was for each person to have a uniquely personal, relevant and thrilling experience not only to share with readers and followers, but also to keep them coming back to the area time and time again for new adventures.

But in PR, the one thing to always expect is for plans to change. It’s not all sunshine and roses. We had two last-minute trip cancelations due to unforeseeable circumstances, but we were prepared to not only adapt quickly but reschedule these trips to be bigger, better and more convenient for everyone. In fact, Leavenworth was featured in Travel Channel’s IG story series only a week later, which exposed the city to more than 1.7 million social followers. Things tend to work out when you’re adaptable.

Ultimately, the summer FAM trip included three travel influencers and one national freelance travel reporter and generated thousands of likes, hundreds of comments, new Washington’s Playground IG followers, blog posts and more. The trip also created new assets for Washington’s Playground to use, since each guest took extra care to beautifully capture the area through a camera lens. (Rights to images were included in the contracts.)

Planning a summer FAM trip isn’t unlike planning a family vacation. It’s exciting, chaotic, unexpected, and sometimes, that proverbial sunscreen is left in the cabin or someone forgets extra boat fuel. It’s those moments that aren’t only lessons learned, but also, chances to create even better memories.


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