Finding Some of the Best Travel PR Firms

2016-09-30 by Jason Tannahill

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What’s not to love about travel, adventure, relaxing beaches and spas, water sports, skiing, beautiful cities, and ancient architecture? The thing about travel is you can find something to fit almost any taste or need. Even those who are homebodies occasionally love to visit family and friends who live far away. Travel PR doesn’t just include destinations and hotels, it also includes events, getting from point A to point B via trains, planes, and buses, and tour companies.

But travel PR, like travel, has certain rules to follow for the best results and these agencies have learned those rules and adapted them well to their client base as well as to travelers and built results-driven campaigns.

5W Public Relations

5WPR was founded in 2003 by Ronn Torossian and over the years has grown in size as well as areas of specialization. Currently, they deal with the air, hotel, and restaurant portions of travel and tourism representing JetSmarter,, Tzell Travel, and many others.  They have launched other leading brands including GoRoomer and worked on iconic campaigns including for brands such as Loews Hotel, Sheraton Hotels and more.

For all their clients they offer help with PR-centered efforts in crafting campaigns with digital media programs, celebrity and influencer integrations, partnerships and events, and content creation in a busy world. Travel and tourism is one of many sectors where they excel and bring that message, not just to media concerned specifically with travel, but extending clients’ reach into tech, business, social media, lifestyle, and more.

Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations, Inc.

NJF was founded by Nancy J. Friedman and is headquartered in New York City with additional offices in Boston and Los Angeles, as well as a dedicated U.K. affiliate. They represent hotels, destination locations, and lifestyle brands. Their clients are all over the country and throughout the world – from New York to Miami, from Los Angeles to Vermont, and from Puerto Rico and St. Lucia to Aruba.

They represent destinations such as Washington DC, Savannah, Jackson Hole, and Cooperstown. Hotels, resorts, and spas with NJF as their AOR include The Williamsburg Hotel, Taconic, Copamarina, Pod Hotel, Spa Desert Springs, and Immersion. Food, beverage, and lifestyle brands represented by them are Brooklyn Bread Lab, Grape & Vine, and Li-Lac Chocolates. They tap media influencers, find strategic angles, build and bind creativity with partners, and bring a global perspective to their work.

Hawkins International Public Relations

Hawkins is headquartered in New York and is led by Jennifer Hawkins, its founder and President. They are known for engaging with key people and organizations in social media and the tourism industry, as well as creating wide-ranging media relations plans. They have more than 60 clients, with some of them on every continent. They create multi-channel content, influencer campaigns, SEO, webinars, contests, platform management, and social media campaigns.

Some of their clients include Wilderness Safaris,, Tradewind Aviation, The Carillon Hotel in Miami Beach, Mountain Lodges of Peru, Alaska, JW Marriott Venice, Hilton Head Health, and Big Five Tours and Expeditions.

Apparently, Hawkins doesn’t routinely ask for testimonials or referrals from their clients, but they get high marks from employees and interns for their progressive thinking and opportunities to learn and grow while working there. It’s a relatively small agency with about 30 or so employees and interns, but their clients are top-notch.

The Zimmerman Agency

The Zimmerman Agency was founded by Carrie Englert Zimmerman and Curtis Zimmerman in 1987, and is located in Tallahassee, Florida. They work with clients in their digital and social platforms to produce top-notch PR results. Their business may not be in the big city, but they have 160+ employees and, in 2014, had net revenues in excess of $160 million – all while being a boutique travel and hospitality firm.

Curtis commented in an interview with Southern Living in 2014, “When you hire us, you hire a band of pirates who work harder, are more nimble and are wildly relentless to maximize the potential of our clients’ brands.” Some of their clients include Park City, Fire House Sub, Hilton’s Waikoloa Village in Hawaii, Aruba, Orlando, Panama, Club Med in the Caribbean, and Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.

One of their newer clients is Advance America  whose Sr. VP of Customer Experience, Trudy Boyles, said: “We were looking for a nimble team who truly understands the complex and demanding world of retail marketing. We believe Zimmerman’s drive, experience, and leadership gives us that undeniable advantage to grow our business and better serve our customers, especially in a competitive market.”

Development Counselors International

DCI was founded in 1960 and firmly declare that their “passion is places.” Over the years they’ve represented more than 450 different locals worldwide. With offices in New York, Toronto, Denver, and Los Angeles. They provide their clients with tourism research, travel and lifestyle PR, consumer marketing, digital and social marketing, destination branding, incentive sales programs for clients, and more.

These are some of the best travel PR firms in the United States.

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