BREAKTHROUGH SUMMER 2016

Give Us the Feels

Big data has been a big deal in our industry over the last few years. Metrics, tracking, and dashboards … they’re all important. However, it’s easy to forget that great storytelling seals the deal. Google knows this too. It’s why their new algorithms better support those who produce authentic, engaging content. For example, look at Yeti. Yes, the coolers. They’re also creating amazing content that’s emotional and being shared (https:// yeticoolers.com/yeti-videos/films/). So while big data isn’t going anywhere, there’s never been a better time for brands to create great stories. Tell me something interesting. Entertain me. Make me feel something.

Oreo's

Patriots Point Celebrates 40 Years

 

On January 3, 1976, the USS YORKTOWN (CV-10) at Patriots Point opened to the public as a museum ship and has been an iconic landmark on the Mount Pleasant side of the Charleston Harbor ever since. More than 9.6 million visitors have toured the historic ship, experienced the interactive exhibits, and heard the stories of our military heroes. On August 27th, Patriots Point will host a 40th anniversary party that will celebrate the past, present, and future of the attraction. With many new exhibits being added over the years, like the immersive Vietnam Experience, there’s always a new way to “Walk in the Steps of Heroes” at Patriots Point. Rawle Murdy is excited to wish Patriots Point a very happy anniversary, with many more to come. For more information and news on Patriots Point, visit patriotspoint.org

Build It And They Will Come

 

Today’s developers are very mindful of the amenities that residents want most. It’s not enough anymore to have a pool, a golf course, and some tennis courts. Homebuyers want amenities that match up with their lifestyle. And a lot of those amenities are focused on wellness activities. Often they are features that residents can use every day, like hiking and biking trails, or community gardens and park systems. You can buy a house anywhere, but it’s these types of interconnected amenities that really give a development a sense of community. And the amenities play a critical role when buyers evaluate which community will fit their lifestyle best.

“It’s Like Opening Day!”

 

This Spring was a big day for youth baseball and softball players in Ladson, SC. Rawle Murdy client, Scott’s Lawn Care, and Major League Baseball cut the ribbon on a beautifully refurbished diamond at Tom Conley Field. The project was part of Scott’s and Major League Baseball’s It’s Good Out Here™ Field Refurbishment Program.

On hand to take part in the special dedication was MLB Special Advisor on Youth Programs and Outreach, Cal Ripken, Jr. The event drew strong media attention, highlighted by a front page feature on The Post and Courier’s sports page.

Welcome to Summer – US Travel/Vacation Trends 2016

Hello, summer, here we are. Have you made your travel plans? While the old ‘2 weeks at the beach’ standby may be fading, long weekend getaways and different experiences are re-shaping what travelers are looking for. With travel more affordable this summer, we’re seeing more people than ever on the go. Here are industry stats and trends that are influencing travel this summer:

AFFORDABILITY AND SAFETY

One of the main influences on any non-essential purchase like vacation travel is the economy, and it’s making travel more accessible than it has been in years; individuals, couples, and families are on the move. Start with an economy that is perceived as healthier than it has been in the past several years, coupled with lower fuel prices, which in turn lowers the cost of both auto and air travel, and you have a good starting point.

Safety concerns regarding terrorism, especially in Europe, and the Zika virus in Central and South America as well as the Caribbean, create the desire for more home-based travel across the United States.

EFFECT OF P2P

The effect of peer-to-peer travel (P2P) is also significant on many levels, and the hospitality industry is not particularly happy with its growing popularity. As more people use P2P options such as Airbnb, VRBO, and FlipKey, several things start happening. Typically, conventional hospitality outlets (resorts and hotels) can charge their highest rates throughout high demand periods, but with the prevalence and availability of additional rooms in the marketplace through P2P services, they’re being forced to reduce prices and as a result are losing profits. When travelers book a P2P, hotels also miss out on the ancillary revenue they depend on from food and beverage, spa treatments, ‘resort fees’, premium movies, etc.

Local governments are also unhappy with the industry shift. Since there are currently very few efficient ways to monitor P2P accommodations (typically a room in someone’s home), many regions are not able to gather taxes on these P2P bookings. This means smaller budgets to market the destination, as many destinations rely heavily on accommodation tax revenue (referred to as A-tax revenues) to fund their marketing. All of this is lost on the traveler however, who reaps the benefits, giving them a large variety of choices at a lower cost.

P2P accommodations are here to stay. In a recent survey by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the early adopters (mostly Millennials) prefer an option like Airbnb as opposed to a hotel, with 75% of 18-34 year olds who have stayed in a P2P property stating they’ll never stay in a traditional hotel again. The travel industry needs to pay attention and adapt to the changing landscape.

WHO AND WHAT TRAVEL

Millennials are coming into their own, and big hotel chains are recognizing the need to cater to their generation. So whether it’s pop-up chef nights, live music around the pool, or customized experiences based on your Facebook preferences, Millennials are the new ‘it’ group. Major chains are even creating new brands (like Canopy by Hilton) to specifically target Millennials.

While relaxation is often a key component of travel, this summer is seeing the emergence of new types of vacations. Travelers are embracing wellness and health retreats, fitness camps, sports camps, dog-focused getaways (obedience training, etc.), wine/beer/food getaways, and ‘fantasy’ retreats (guitar camps, etc.). Destinations and hoteliers are getting more and more inventive as a way to satiate the ever-broadening interests in travel.

The final trend: last-minute bookings. People are waiting until the last minute to book. Are you one of those? It’s time to get going – summer is here!

We’re Proud of our Staff!!!

 

Welcome Stephanie Lagace, our new media planner/buyer. Stephanie has recently relocated to Charleston from Boston – and has permanently ditched her snow shovel and down coats! Stephanie is a Boston Red Sox fan and loves traveling around to see the Zac Brown Band. We’re excited to have her on our team.

Another new team member to welcome is Devon Gage, our newest account executive on the Brand Leadership team. She recently moved to Charleston from Lexington, KY. Devon is a yoga teacher and loves to be outdoors where you can find her gardening, hiking, or catching some waves. Welcome, Devon, we’re excited you’re here!

New Clients!

 

We’re excited to announce three new hospitality and luxury real estate accounts; The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina is a boldly designed, world-class waterfront hotel, Brays Island Plantation, a 5,500 acre sporting club and real estate community, and the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority, one of the country’s premier outdoor destinations located in the Blue Ridge Mountains.