Port of SD Receives Award for Excellence in Comms

Jun 25, 2018


The Port of San Diego’s Marketing & Communications Department has received four awards from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) including the 2018 Overall Award of Communications Excellence for its proactive advertising campaign to brand San Diego’s cruise industry, Welcome to the Port of Land and See. The award is the AAPA’s highest honor in its annual Communications Awards Program, now in its 52nd year.

The Welcome to the Port of Land and See marketing campaign is a long-term strategy to support the Port’s operational objectives to increase cruise line offerings and grow passenger demand. It’s adapted for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) purposes.

“Our hard-working and dedicated Marketing & Communications Department deserves this international recognition by the AAPA. They have not only helped to raise the Port’s profile with cruise lines and cruise customers with this campaign, their efforts also align with the Port’s promise to enrich the relationship people and businesses have with San Diego Bay and our dynamic waterfront,” said Randa Coniglio, Chief Executive Officer, Port of San Diego.

“Our cruise industry already has a tremendous regional economic impact – $116 million a year – but there is opportunity for an even greater impact, and this campaign is capitalizing on that. In fact, coupled with efforts from our maritime staff, it’s already getting results – cruise calls were up by 19 percent in 2017 over the previous year, passengers were up by 23 percent, and two new cruise lines committed to new calls in 2017,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Board of Port Commissioners.

“This campaign is just one example of the incredible teamwork of our department’s marketing, creative and communications teams,” said Jenifer Barsell, Director of Marketing & Communications, Port of San Diego. “We worked very closely with our Maritime Department to identify the challenges and opportunities this campaign could help address. The results are proof of the campaign’s success so far. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the growth of the Port’s and the region’s cruise business.”

AAPA announced the awards in a press release on June 6, 2018. AAPA is the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas, representing ports in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Port’s other three entries earned Awards of Excellence, similar to first place, in their respective categories. Those entries were:

Destination Marketing: Discover Your Wonderfront – Category: Overall Marketing
This comprehensive destination marketing strategy was developed to bring visitors and locals alike to enjoy the vast amenities of the dynamic San Diego Bay waterfront. Wave 1 of the campaign, which focused on Harbor Island, resulted in a 7 to 1 return on investment – every $1 spent on the campaign generated an estimated $6.88 in reported revenue for businesses on Harbor Island. Additionally, specific activities promoted within the campaign materials showed significant lifts (13-40 percent) in sales versus the previous year.

Port Master Plan Update – Category: Community/Education Outreach
The Port, in partnership with public relations firm Nuffer Smith Tucker (NST), planned and executed a community relations campaign focused on promoting and increasing inclusive public engagement in the Port’s Integrated Planning process. The Port and NST accomplished this by activating community leaders and influencers, creating a cohesive brand for the effort, and reaching audiences across a variety of platforms. Integrated Planning is an initiative to set a blueprint for the next 50 years of baywide planning development across the Port’s five member cities and 6,000 acres of land and water under its jurisdiction. The process will culminate with an update to the Port Master Plan.

Brand Video: Port of San Diego – Category: Video
The one-minute video introduces the Port’s new brand, launched in May 2017, to the Port’s employees and wider community. The purpose is to inspire people to take pride in the San Diego Bay waterfront, understand all that the Port of San Diego encompasses, and instill a sense of innovation and forward-thinking central to the Port’s brand personality. The video has been posted on the Port’s YouTube channel and has received 1,300 views, entirely organically.