Hampton® Hotels, the mid-priced lodging brand of 1,200 hotels, and its public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe, Los Angeles, have received the highly coveted Silver Anvil, regarded as the “Oscar” of the public relations industry, for its roadside landmarks preservation campaign, “Explore the Highway with Hampton, Save A Landmark.”? The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) recently recognized the program among nearly 670 national entries of U.S. businesses as the most outstanding in the community relations category for 2002, based on the program`s research, planning and execution.
Because hundreds of its hotels are located along U.S. highways, Hampton created the Save A Landmark program in an effort to bring its hotel teams together and facilitate positive outreach to their communities. Now in its fourth year, the community outreach program has refurbished 15 roadside landmarks, providing hundreds of employee hours and more than a half-million dollars toward funding research and refurbishment projects. From the towering 50-foot Santa Claus Statue in Alaska to the 80-foot long Blue Whale sitting on Route 66/I-40 in Oklahoma, the program also has taken on projects with intrinsic cultural and historic value, such as the “Oldest House” in the United States (an adobe pueblo structure located in New Mexico built around the 16th century). Hampton receives its refurbishment projects through submissions from the general public, who may recommend landmarks-in-need over the brand`s Web site www.hamptoninn.com. After four years of submissions, the program now has one of the most extensive databases on roadside landmarks in the country.
The recent award particularly recognized the program`s concentration over the last two years: refurbishment efforts on one of the country`s most treasured but often forgotten “traveling” landmarks - Route 66. At age 76, the 2,448-mile stretch of highway tells a compelling story of America`s historical move West and American culture in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Shedding light on the Route`s place in American history and working with Route 66 associations, Hampton developed a “Roadside Attraction” sign program, “posting” special points of interest along Route 66. The sign program created the highway`s first unified visual road guide through eight states for travelers young and old to explore. Including the refurbishment of five deteriorating sites along Route 66, the Hampton program has actively encouraged travelers to help Route 66 through a letter writing campaign and petition taken “on the road” to heighten awareness and funding among lawmakers in Washington.
This summer, Hampton has continued its Route 66 initiatives, just completing a 66-day caravan with Preservationist Jim Conkle, encouraging summer travel along this forgotten piece of American history. In addition, Hampton plans to refurbish other historic sites this year in the Northeast U.S., and expand its efforts outside the country working with the brand`s international hotels in Canada. Travelers can find information about Hampton`s Save A Landmark campaign and the best “Route 66 Roadside Attractions” to see under “America`s Biggest Road Trip/Route 66” on www.hamptoninn.com.
Hampton, which includes Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites hotels, is a mid-priced leader in the lodging segment. Hampton is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, which develops, owns, manages or franchises more than 2,000 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties. Its portfolio includes many of the world`s best known and most highly regarded hotel brands, including Hilton®, Conrad®, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations Company® and Homewood Suites by Hilton®.
The Public Relations Society of America (www.prsa.org), based in New York City, is the world`s largest professional organization for public relations professionals helping to advance the profession and the professional, with nearly 20,000 members with 17 Professional Interest Sections and 116 Chapters nationwide who represent business and industry, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. Since their inception in 1946, the Silver Anvil Awards have grown considerably in scope and stature. Today, more than 1,000 organizations compete for Silver Anvils for excellence in public relations.
Cohn & Wolfe is a marketing-focused Public Relations agency with offices in the US and Europe. The agency creates and implements powerful communications programs helping its clients build their brands and their bottom lines. Cohn & Wolfe`s core areas of expertise include consumer, healthcare, technology and corporate communications. The agency currently ranks number one by clients for creativity, media placement, client service, senior management and strategic counsel. It also ranks among the top “Best Agencies to Work For” in a recent, industry-wide employee survey.