The FTA’s Advocacy campaign launched with great fanfare in January at the New York Times Travel Show, and has been gaining steam with consumers ever since. Through a nationally distributed press release, our social media platforms and a new monthly newsletter for families who opt in, we have been educating families about how they can take more time off on vacations with their loved ones, while also encouraging the media to dive deeper into this subject.
During the Saturday and Sunday consumer days at the Times Travel Show, families crowded our booth asking about #TakeFamilyTime. Dozens “took the pledge” to prioritize vacations in their family schedule and budget, and entered into a sweepstakes for a free 4-day dude ranch vacation generously donated by FTA Member Russell True, and three of his resorts.
We captured the spirit of #TakeFamilyTime at the show through video interviews of families and FTA members, talking about their favorite vacation experiences, and the benefits they receive from prioritizing family vacations. You can view many of these videos, filmed and edited by Aaron Schlein, on the FTA’s consumer-facing Facebook page.
Then, on Jan. 28, National Plan for Vacation Day, we launched the first in a series of Facebook live events for consumers, with Richard D’Ambrosio interviewing Loulu Lima, one of our certified travel advisors, about the many issues and obstacles families face planning a vacation.
That interview was followed up two weeks later when Richard interviewed Media Center members Lara Dorman and Carrie Simmons about vacation planning tips and advice. We’ll feature Abercrombie and Kent and Intrepid Travel in our third Take Family Time Facebook webinar, Tuesday, Feb. 25.
The engagement rate for Loulu’s Facebook Live webinar was 20%, while the interview with Lara and Carrie reached 25%. (This kind of engagement is unheard of in the history of our social feed.)
We also recently published video interviews of FTA members originally filmed at the FTA Summit at Custer State Park, last October. Once again, you can feel in these videos the deep emotions that #TakeFamilyTime taps into. Our interview with Catherine Gray, founder of the Na’atik Language and Culture Institute, has an engagement rate of 59%, while an interview Aaron conducted with Andrea Ross of Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel at the New York Times Travel Show had an engagement rate of 14%.
Overall, #TakeFamilyTime content has increased our total Facebook reach by 30%, and our number of engaged Facebook users by 60% versus non-Take Family Time content. Meanwhile, FTA website pageviews soared 185% during the initial five days of the #TakeFamilyTime launch.
While we’re very enthused by how families are responding to #TakeFamilyTime and look forward to doing more with the campaign, we want to ensure that members like you understand how you can participate to benefit your organization. We encourage you to review the content we’ve produced so far and reach out to Aaron and Richard to discuss ways that you can participate. The only thing we ask is that you keep to the spirit of the campaign with your promotions and advice. Overt sales pitches, lists of itineraries, services, product features, will not add to the emotional groundswell so core to motivating more adults and children to #TakeFamilyTime. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
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