‘Coffee with Scott’ Virtual Zoom Media Event

Background

It had been a year since Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America actually 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, we 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 get Scott back in front of the media, and any coverage would be considered a bonus.

Strategy

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 would be 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.

Results

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.