The K Club
A historic and internationally renowned resort, The K Club combines old world elegance with luxury accommodations, contemporary amenities, and a variety of unique outdoor pursuits. Over the years, the resort has received positive feedback and attention from the travel trade community, but consumer and media awareness of the property and its wider offerings beyond golf has remained relatively low.
As a result, upscale travelers, particularly those in the United States and Canada, were not considering The K Club or its premier private home accommodation, Straffan House, when planning leisure trips to Ireland. Further, a neighboring resort that was set to be a major competitor in rate and consumer appeal was about to open, and the resort needed to ensure it stayed top-of-mind.
The K Club tasked PHG Consulting with creating awareness among new audiences and market segments across the United States and Canada with a goal of positioning The K Club and Straffan House as one of Ireland’s most exclusive travel experiences, and garnering coverage of the hotel’s unique attributes and activities outside of golf.
PHG Consulting was tasked with the following deliverables from The K Club to achieve its awareness goals:
- Develop a strategic public relations plan that strongly and frequently reaches The K Club and Straffan House's target audiences and niche market segments in the U.S. and Canada
- Arrange and attend 4-5 meetings and interviews between The K Club's CEO and General Manager Michael Davern and top editors and freelance writers in New York City
- Secure 3-4 qualified U.S. journalists and one Canadian journalist to experience The K Club and Straffan House as part of a multi-day media FAM trip
- Position The K Club as a must-visit destination resort with unique attributes and activities that are attractive to a variety of interests outside of golf through a variety of top-tier editorial placements
- Generate heightened awareness for Straffan House as a luxury, private home accommodation, leveraging its ownership by Sir Michael Smurfit, through increased editorial coverage
- Serve as the North American news bureau for The K Club and Straffan House, functioning as the in-house primary information resource for press
To kick off the campaign, PHG Consulting conducted a comprehensive media audit of The K Club and Straffan House to determine how the property had previously been covered in North America and what future opportunities existed. From there, PHG Consulting developed a robust media relations campaign targeting the luxury market in the United States and Canada, which included a variety of strategic initiatives, including a media FAM trip, New York City desk-side tour, and development of creative programming and packages. Key results included:
- Secured seven journalists to attend the FAM trip from top-tier luxury publications including Town & Country, DuJour, Ocean Drive Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, New York Observer, New York Daily News, and Montecristo
- Secured seven meetings for the New York City desk-side tour with editors from Forbes, FATHOM, Women's Health, Luxury Travel Advisor, Smart Meetings, Parents Magazine, and Esquire, providing the chance for CEO Michael Davern to share an overview of the property, current news, and its key selling points while identifying and pursuing editorial opportunities
- Facilitated more than 700,000 social media impressions due to posts generated during the media FAM trip
- Secured 75 media placements featuring The K Club and Straffan House through targeted pitches to media, including a prominent feature in The New York Times Sunday Travel section
- Generated 305 million editorial media impressions with an approximate ad value in excess of $4.3 million, resulting in an ROI of 203:1