"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." These oft-uttered words, first written in 1905 by Spanish poet and philosopher George Santayana, still ring true today and reinforce the importance of historical preservation. In this spirit, Hampton Hotels celebrated its 10th year of Save-A-Landmark, a community outreach campaign dedicated to refurbishing historical, fun and cultural landmarks along America’s highways for future generations of travelers.
Since its inception in 2000, the Save-A-Landmark program has provided a decade of support, nearly 8,000 volunteer hours and more than $2.5 million dollars toward the research and preservation of roadside landmarks, earning the 2006 Preserve America Presidential Award and making Hampton the first hotel chain ever recognized by a U.S. president for its preservation efforts.
In 2010, Hampton commemorated the program’s 10-year milestone with a proper celebration, coordinating and executing five preservation projects across America leading up to the final celebratory refurbishment event at President Abraham Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington DC.
• Preserve and sustain unique pieces of American history for future generations of travelers to experience along America’s roads
• Engender community goodwill and raise awareness of Hampton Hotels as a socially responsible brand
• Engage and inspire key Hampton audiences and stakeholders
Target Audience Analysis
1) Road Warriors – According to Hampton’s proprietary research, 72 percent of Americans take a road trip at least once a year and eight out of 10 say they include a visit to a historical landmark or roadside attraction. More specifically, 67 percent of married couples and parents believe it is “very important” to preserve America’s roadside landmarks.
2) Hampton Team Members – The Save-A-Landmark program presents a unique opportunity to engage and inspire Hampton general managers, franchise owners and hotel staff to truly make a difference in their own communities by preserving our country’s past for the future. Hampton set out to target stakeholders based in Washington DC, Nebraska, Utah, Arkansas and Vermont.
Significant research guided Hampton Hotels’ 2010 Save-A-Landmark approach. In a preliminary exploratory survey conducted in 2000, 91 percent of Americans said they believed it was important to preserve our nation’s roadside landmarks, and in a 2010 survey update, 93 percent of Americans still agreed. As cited above, the 2010 survey showed that 72 percent of Americans reported road tripping at least once a year to travel to a predetermined destination. The abundance of roadside landmarks in North America, coupled with the sheer number of travelers who road trip each year, affords Hampton the opportunity to engage both the traveling public and its own team members in a long-standing, worthwhile community effort.
• Launched a nationwide crowd-sourced public vote to identify those landmarks most in need of restoration in targeted regions
• Coordinated five Save-A-Landmark events, contributed financial donations toward landmark preservation and conducted aggressive media outreach to promote the campaign and encourage travelers to visit, enjoy and appreciate America’s historical roadside landmarks
• Partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America's communities, to plan a 10th anniversary Save-A-Landmark salute and celebratory event in Washington DC
• Developed and launched a Save-A-Landmark tab on Hampton’s Facebook page promoting the program and encouraging the public to nominate landmarks for future preservation
• Issued a call for landmark voting via program’s microsite, www.hamptonlandmarks.com and announced 2010 finalists:
o Wheeler Historic Farm in Salt Lake City, UT (5/18/10)
o Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, NE (6/3/10)
o St. Johnsbury Athenaeum in St. Johnsbury, VT (7/15/10)
o Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, AR (8/11/10)
o President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington, DC (9/16/10)
• Invited and secured volunteers from nearby Hampton hotels, including general managers, franchise owners and hotel staff
• Orchestrated five preservation events across the country and coordinated all service project logistics
• Conducted extensive media outreach to national, regional and local media outlets and offered specific pitch angles targeted to each outlet; coordinated onsite media interviews at each event
• Promoted campaign via Hampton’s social media channels and cross-promoted individual events via respective landmarks’ communication channels and social media platforms
• Culminated the year with a celebration highlighting a decade of landmark restoration coinciding with the program’s 55th landmark refurbishment of President Abraham Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington DC, enlisting actor Sam Waterston as program spokesperson
Evaluation of Success/Measurement
• Preserve a piece of American history for future generations
o Helped preserve five national landmarks in need, including President Lincoln's Cottage, named one of the Most Endangered Places in America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2000
o Donated $140,000 and nearly 1,000 hours of manual labor toward landmark preservation
• Raise awareness of Hampton as a socially responsible brand
o Generated more than 200 news stories via online, print and broadcast media outlets reaching 57 million readers and viewers nationwide. Highlights include:
? Multiple broadcast segments including KSL NBC in Salt Lake City and WUSA CBS in Washington DC
? Features in “Time for Kids,” AOLNews.com and ABCNews.com
• Engage key audiences and stakeholders
o Engaged more than 15,000 consumers in an online crowdsourcing process to select the 2010 landmark sites
o Recruited and deployed more than 150 volunteers who contributed nearly 1,000 hours toward landmark refurbishment
o Generated positive consumer feedback illustrated by the following guest comment, “I love to travel the back roads and make it a point to stop at the wayside historical landmarks … It is the very fabric of our nation and if we forget our history we forget the important lessons learned ... Thank you, Hampton.”