Arbron Media Associates

Marketing: Balancing "Newsworthy" with "Opportunistic"

The National Weather Service on Monday issued blizzard and winter storm warnings through most of the Northeastern parts of the United States with snowfalls of up to three feet forecast for New York City and New England; for Honolulu, the forecast is 79 degrees and clear skies.

Sounds like a good time to promote sunny Hawaii, right?

Not really. A spokeswoman for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, the contractor in charge of marketing Hawaii as a destination to North America, said the agency does not want to appear opportunistic when severe weather events happen.

Marketing is a delicate balance. You want to be topical and newsworthy. You need to appeal on an emotional level to your target audience; but at the same time, you don't want to offend them so your message backfires.

Serious weather can bring serious consequences, so offering helpful advice about staying safe, warm and busy is appropriate. But as conditions outside worsen, avoid the temptation to get too cheeky, which can come off as insensitive.

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