MADISON, Wis., (March 11, 2022) — Travel Wisconsin and TURNER PR’s work promoting Wisconsin to travelers has been recognized by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Adrian Awards, the world’s largest and most prestigious travel marketing competition, judged by top executives from all sectors of the industry. Travel Wisconsin earned four awards in the following categories: 

  • Wonder of Wisconsin Media Experience earned Gold in the PR – Special Event category. 
  • Travel Wisconsin Online Feature – Condé Nast Traveler earned Gold in the PR – Feature Placement Online category. 
  • Travel Wisconsin Print Feature – The Washington Post earned silver in the PR – Feature Placement Print – Consumer Magazine/Newspaper category.  
  • Wonder of Wisconsin Ambassador Challenge earned Bronze in the PR – Influencer Marketing category. 

“Earning an Adrian Award is among the highest honors in the travel industry,” said Tourism Secretary-designee Anne Sayers. “As we continue to promote the many ways to help travelers make memories and discover the unexpected, I’d like to congratulate and thank all of our partners throughout the state who made this accolade possible.”  

In 2021, Travel Wisconsin launched The Wonder of Wisconsin, a campaign focused on unexpected offerings throughout the state. To showcase the state’s diverse culinary and agritourism scene, TURNER and Travel Wisconsin hosted a wide array of media for a two-day culinary extravaganza in the Chippewa Valley region. Activities during the Wonder of Wisconsin Media Experience featured locally-sourced food, a women-led chef and sommelier event and a meal with indigenous chefs: 

  • A five-course forest dinner utilizing local ingredients with Chef Lisa Carlson and Chef Carrie Summer of Chef Shack held at Cabin Ridge Rides in Cadott. 

  • A Lakeside Luncheon with Chef Elena Terry from Wild Bearies & Chef Yusuf Bin-Rella from Trade Root at the Barn at Mirror Lake in Mondovi. 

  • Exploration of the arts and music scene in the indie city of Eau Claire where writers were staying. 

As a result of the event, TURNER secured feature coverage in nine outlets such as Food & Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, Milwaukee Magazine, The Daily Beast, TravelAge West and more. These articles resulted in 43,780,966 overall impressions.  

As an additional campaign effort, the team aimed to secure feature coverage in high circulating national outlets. TURNER worked with freelance writer Katy Spratte Joyce by including her on a virtual tailgate cooking experience, meeting with her for a virtual deskside and by keeping her updated through targeted pitches focused on what’s new in Wisconsin. As a result, Katy secured an online feature in Condé Nast Traveler highlighting underrated activities throughout Wisconsin. Activities highlighted include outdoor adventure, culinary experiences, exploring the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, Milwaukee’s rising neighborhood Bronzeville, Eau Claire’s booming art scene and more.  

TURNER also worked with freelance writer Carson Vaughan to plan to visit focused on under-the-radar outdoor experiences in Wisconsin’s Driftless region. As a result of his trip, Carson wrote a feature print piece in The Washington Post, titled “In Wisconsin, Drifting But Not Lost.” The article focuses on Carson’s unexpected experiences in the region including outdoor adventure at Kickapoo Valley Reserve, Perrot State Park and his culinary experience at the Driftless Café, which sources all of their food from local Wisconsin businesses with an emphasis on growers and makers in the Driftless region.  

Meanwhile, the Wonder of Wisconsin Ambassador Challenge utilized local nano influencers with high engagement rates to promote their state to highly targeted audiences that are otherwise challenging to reach. In tandem with Travel Wisconsin partners, TURNER managed a competitive program with these influencers, where they earned points to redeem Wisconsin-themed prizes, including hotel stays, sailing trips and Wisconsin-made items such as Trek bikes or Wigwam socks. The Wonder of Wisconsin Ambassador Challenge was incredibly successful over the two-month period of June/July 2021, with 26 participating nano influencers sharing more than 450 posts with more than 140,000 followers. 

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