Costa Cruises — ‘Coffee with Scott’


It had been a year since Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America, had seen or spoken to the cruise, news and travel journalists he regularly interacted with prior to the pandemic. Wanting to keep Costa front and center in journalists’ minds amid a time of no travel, NewmanPR organized a “Coffee with Scott” virtual Zoom event with top cruise, trade and consumer media. We sent them all Illy coffee, since it is one of “Italy’s Finest” product brands Costa features on board, and invited everyone to make coffee and chat online with Scott. The event was simply meant to re-establish relations with the media, and was not conceived to generate coverage.


The event was scheduled for late February 2021. Since Costa did not have any new initiatives and had not resumed sailing by that time, the focus of the event was a casual catch-up and renew relationships conversation.

We decided to limit the event to an intimate number of media with a focus on travel trade. We created a list of 14 journalist invitees. We sent participants a package of Illy coffee and a note ahead of time.

The agency created talking points for Scott to provide some structure and attempt to stay within a 40-minute time limit.


Of the 14 journalists invited, nine accepted and participated in the event. The conversation was lively, and media were engaged to the extent that the “coffee klatch” ran nearly an hour. Although the event wasn’t intended to generate coverage, seven stories were produced for a total reach of 1 million and an estimated advertising value of $2 million.