4 Tips Theme Parks Teach Us About PR
- Posted by Poston Communications
- On February 12, 2020
- Orlando, PR, public relations, theme parks, Universal Studios
Living in Central Florida, we have no shortage of attractions and theme parks. It’s always a thrill to hear from the public relations professionals charged with driving awareness and sales in such a crowded market. Last month, members of Poston Communications’ Orlando team attended the Florida Public Relations Association Counselor’s Network Winter Symposium at Universal Orlando. They got a behind-the-scenes peak at how theme parks embrace communications challenges and opportunities within the themed-entertainment industry.
- Importance of Storytelling
Great stories are the foundation of a successful theme park attraction, said Tom Williams, chairman of Universal Parks & Resorts. By telling a story, guests connect on a personal level, and their experiences become more meaningful and memorable. This tenant of storytelling can be applied to all public relations campaigns. It’s important for the campaign to connect with your target audience. Sharing an authentic experience, emotional connection or educational component engages audiences in ways mere product and service descriptions cannot. It’s these positive associations that ultimately will influence a consumer to buy your product or support the company.
- Launching a Campaign Before Its Ready
We can all relate to the excitement surrounding a launch of a new product or brand. When a theme park launches a new attraction, it brings buzz among employees, guests and within the industry eagerly watching what’s coming next. When Universal Studios Florida opened in 1990, it aimed to become an industry icon. On opening day, however, some of the attractions didn’t work and, instead of fun and fireworks, the occasion was marked with disappointment. Consider whether a campaign is worth the buzz to launch before you’re really ready? The Universal Orlando PR team now works closely with operations to ensure a seamless debut on all fronts.
- Serving Your Customers
Good customer service is good PR for any organization. How a company responds when seemingly everything goes wrong says a lot about its integrity. In 1990, when Universal Studios’ attractions were not operating correctly, theme park leaders didn’t hesitate to make it right. They offered full refunds, plus a ticket with no expiration to come back again another day. The move was celebrated externally and internally, even landing Williams a promotion for demonstrating his commitment to the customer.
- Be Prepared for Anything
When theme parks gear up to launch new attractions they work through operational considerations, launch dates, messaging, media events and, just in case, a crisis plan. The team takes time to save time, preparing materials for every possible scenario so they can quickly react. Things change in the blink of an eye. It is important for PR pros to be proactive and flexible. An evolving communications strategy provides the foundation to ensure a successful launch, no matter what challenges occur.
Poston Communications Account Supervisor Kali Hammond and Vice President Megan Paquin contributed to this post. Both are based in Orlando.