ST. THOMAS—M Booth & Associates, one of the largest independent public relations firms in New York, has been named public relations agency of record for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The account is believed to be worth around $1.9 million a year and was previously held by The Martin Agency and Slay Public Relations of Richmond, Va.
Booth’s travel and lifestyle specialty group, headed by travel industry veterans Joan Bloom and Joan Brower, will develop and manage a program of targeted media and industry relations, Internet marketing initiatives, on-island communications, and strategic partnerships and promotions directed at North American and select Caribbean and international markets.
“Our overall strategy revolves around energizing the U.S. Virgin Islands’ branding as ‘America’s Caribbean’ with all its positive attributes: welcoming, close to home, yet exotic and beautiful, common language and currency, and ease of travel,” says Bloom. “Most of all, we plan to highlight each of the three islands—St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix—for its own special appeal, and to encourage visitors to one of the islands to visit the others as well.”
In addition, the firm has engaged two on-island representatives, one based in St. Thomas/St. John and another in St. Croix, as agency liaisons to assist with media hospitality and other supporting activities.
According to Pamela Richards, commissioner of tourism for the destination, “We look forward to working with our new agency and the private sector tourism interests to increase visitor arrivals, and to generate more interest in the United States Virgin Islands from both leisure and business travelers.”