Media Coordinator FAM: Refreshing a Brand Image for the Asia Visitor Market

Ko Olina Resort

Situation

Invited eight local-based Japanese media coordinators to experience Ko Olina Resort to learn first-hand of the resorts’ offerings to help educate them for pitching story angles to their media partners.

Challenge

Desire for more photo shoots and coverage, but lack of familiarity about the destination and the offerings. Location also makes barter tie-ups challenging as well as most media prefer to stay in Waikiki as it’s close to other locations they’re also covering and the commute to and from Ko Olina is inconvenient for most media.

Action

Enlisted support from KORA hotels to host a media coordinator fam. Coordinators are Oahu-based, so low cost. Host for one night. Create itinerary and activities that give all coordinators a taste of the two resorts (Aulani and FSO) Include resort tour, dining, etc. The eight coordinators were broken into two groups of four, with one group staying at Aulani and the other group staying at Four Seasons. The next day the group switched resorts to experience the amenities offered at the other resort.

Results

The FAM resulted in $35,000 AVE with a reach of 860K+. A survey with eight questions was sent to the coordinators after their stay to get their feedback. Some of the questions included what impressed them, media they would recommend and advantages compared to staying in Waikiki.

Based on the survey, the coordinators felt the pros of staying as Ko Olina was that it felt similar to staying on a neighbor island resort without having to go there and there are many on-site Japanese-speaking staff. For media, they recommended media related to family travel, weddings and luxury travel. Advantages over Waikiki were that there are less Japanese visitors and more impressive for repeat visitors, quality of F&B, less crowded beaches and large-scale resorts that you cannot experience in Waikiki.

Due to the success of this FAM, KORA is considering to host another FAM with different coordinators. Based on their discussion, they would only be open to hosting only the most influential coordinators, and it would be beneficial for KORA to have them experience other areas on Ko Olina besides only at the resort. There is more positivity from Four Seasons to host, as Noriko from Aulani feels that most local-based coordinators have already been to and are familiar with their property and don’t see a need to have to host them a room night. However both properties are also interested in hosting media FAMs from Japan. It is still in discussion at this time.