Identifier

etd-04132005-161415

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The research undertaken in this study explores five years of the Louisiana Office of Tourism's public relations campaign to attract Canadian visitors to Louisiana. The study considers how the campaign's organizers used the cultural bond between French-speaking Canadians and Louisiana to attract Canadians to Louisiana. The study also examines how important the public relations strategy of highlighting the cultural bond between host and tourist was in attracting Canadian visitors to the state. In addition, the study uncovers whether or not campaign organizers considered the impact their campaign would have on Louisiana's Cajun citizenry. The research method employed was the case study method. Interviews were conducted with campaign organizers, and a case description was used to organize and analyze the data. The findings of the study show that the campaign's planners segmented the Canadian market into two distinct demographics, French-speaking Canadians and English-speaking Canadians. In its campaign to attract French-speaking Canadians to the state, highlighting the cultural bond between the two regions was vital to the campaign's success. The strategy included the hosting of a year-long celebration of the state's French heritage as well as a mammoth Cajun family reunion and event sponsorships throughout French-speaking Canada. Ultimately, the Louisiana Office of Tourism concluded that its campaign positively impacted the state's Cajun community, both economically and culturally. For their part, representatives of the Cajun community expressed concern about the campaign. Specifically, they said they believed the way in which Cajuns were sometimes portrayed in the campaign served to perpetuate stereotypes. Lastly, the study shows that the campaign jibed with one of the four tourism public relations models developed by prominent tourism public relations scholar, Don Stacks. Stacks translated the four historic models of public relations developed by J. Grunig for application to the tourism industry. The campaign is a clear example of Stacks' two-way asymmetric model, the research shows.

Date

2005

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Anne Cunningham

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