When residents of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, wanted to put the brakes on a proposed 114-room hotel, investor and developer Poseidon Hotel Ventures sought to sway public opinion.
Poseidon Hotel Ventures enlisted public relations firm, Axia Public Relations, based on strong referrals and previous business relationships, for a public relations campaign to educate the community and gain public approval.
Axia Public Relations jumped right in, recommending sharing and communicating the hotel’s positive economic impact on the community, including its temporary and permanent employment opportunities. The PR firm reached out to the regional media across Central Florida, including Daytona Beach, Orlando and Volusia County, to share the positive impact the proposed SpringHill Suites by Marriott would have on the area.
To add credibility, Axia also got a quote from a Marriott executive involved in the project who owned a home in New Smyrna Beach.
Axia’s relationships with the news media at target media outlets were key to the PR project’s quick launch. Axia highlighted the 50 permanent jobs and positive $106.3 million economic impact the hotel would bring to the city. The construction project would also create 120 temporary jobs in the area.
Momentum built quickly and, within hours, Axia earned media coverage in several local news outlets including the News Journal and Orlando Business Journal as well as securing interviews with Orlando TV news stations WESH NBC and WFTV ABC. This gave the hotel development a voice in the media conversation which was previously controlled by NIMBYs - those that opposed the hotel with a "not in my backyard" position.
Axia also posted the news release on PRNewswire using its special pricing. Overall, according to independent third-party media monitoring services, the PR campaign reached more than 49.5 million consumers and business people and earned an estimated $1.15 million in publicity value with a key message of the proposed hotel’s positive economic impact.
City commissioners voted on the proposed New Smyrna Beach SpringHill Suites by Marriott and, with Axia’s help, decided 3-2 in favor of changing the land use of the Flagler Avenue property to a hospitality category, therefore helping the commercial development and the hotel developer.