Travel Sciences

90 DAY B2B NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH
Travel Sciences OpenTravel CRM

"Karen and her team provided invaluable advice and high quality, professional and attentive service. They were creative, resourceful and fully engaged in achieving success. KWE is one public relations firm I can confidently say delivers real value."
Joe Mazzarella, President & CEO
Travel Sciences

Situation
The travel agent share of tourism revenues has shrunk considerably due to internet booking sites. To compete with sites such as Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia, travel agents are faced with the need to combine real time web information with their time-honored tradition of providing customer service and insider knowledge.

Travel Sciences, a leading developer of intelligent, web-based software solutions for the travel industry, addressed the situation with a ground-breaking product called OpenTravel CRM. OpenTravel offers free, web-based software that handles Web 2.0 social networking technology as well as all aspects of customer relationship management. The company hired KWE Partners to handle a 90 day B2B product launch.
Challenge
Our challenge was introducing a new product -- the first of its kind -- with maximum impact to reach the greatest number of agents in the shortest amount of time through editorial coverage. The challenge was compounded by the need to reach smaller travel agencies and home-based travel agents who may not be tech-savvy.

Objectives
  • Create instant awareness throughout the travel industry
  • Identify end users of OpenTravel as well as suppliers who will support the program with advertising, a critical need since a major selling tool is that OpenTravel is a free service.
  • Establish credibility for the program, the technology and the company to instill a comfort level about adopting the program for everyday usage.  [Top]
Strategies
With a narrow 90-day window of opportunity, our strategy encompassed the three cornerstones of a media blitz to launch a new product: a press conference, news distribution and one-on-one placement.
  • Press Conference. A fortuitous opportunity was immediate: ASTAs The Trade Show in Las Vegas, attended by virtually every major travel trade publication. We secured a premium spot on the agenda for Travel Sciences and conducted a press conference. Company principals debuted the product and demonstrated its capabilities, with press attendees sampling the software at the same time.
  • News Distribution. Simultaneous to the press conference, we distributed print and digital press announcements in three versions tailored to our targets: travel agents, suppliers and the technology industry. The OpenTravel CRM news also received wide online exposure through newswires. Our materials also introduced the parent company, Travel Sciences, and its principals to editors and contributors to underscore the credibility of the product and expand their coverage.
  • Media Relations. A sustained one-on-one media relations campaign was launched prior to the press conference with e-blasts and phone pitching to encourage press conference attendance, arrange interviews and set the stage for future coverage.
In the weeks following The Trade Show, extensive follow up interviews were arranged with the company principal for Travel Weekly, Agent @ Home, Travel Trade, Jax Fax and Modern Agent. Other trades and online publications were tapped to use our provided news release and images.  [Top]
Results
Following the launch of OpenTravel CRM, the press coverage of the dynamic new technology was extensive and highly targeted to end users (travel agents) as well as to suppliers. Virtually every travel trade publication, online and print, devoted space to OTCRM, ranging from news items to feature coverage with interviews of the principals. In addition, travel agents nationwide were test driving OpenTravel CRM.

Another benefit to our campaign to launch OpenTravel CRM was the coverage in the hotel and restaurant industry trades, important sources of revenue for the products ongoing development of custom solutions for hotels and cruise lines.

Within one year OpenTravel CRM has become a major solution for thousands of travel agency business. The website has platinum level sponsorships and multiple media endorsements, which appear on the sites home page as reprints of the publicity achieved by KWE Partners.  [Top]
 

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