Media Relations Serves Top Outlets for 44th Annual Event

Challenge: For the 44th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta presented by Canon, The Garrity Group was engaged to handle all traditional and social/digital communications for the nine-day hot air ballooning festival. With over 1,000 media members registered from five different countries, TGG’s efforts leading up to Balloon Fiesta rested heavily on vetting media attendees, generating story ideas, interview opportunities and arranging credential pick up. 

Solution: During the event, our team’s focus was to provide media with factual event information, act as a conduit for guests seeking assistance via social media and work with the AIBF board of directors and staff to assist with any issues that could result in media attention, including ride and on-field incidents. While digital and social media play a major role during the event serving as channel to communicate with fans, on-field guests and inquiring media, it is a year-round effort which includes: development of the e-newsletter, social media editorial calendars, social media monitoring and response development and website additions as needed. 

Results: Our ten-month media outreach, promoting the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta had some strong measureable successes with more than 11.9 billion impressions generated 4.4 billion measured in October alone. Another perspective of the vast media coverage is measured in 295,740 Minutes of coverage, which is the equivalent of 4,929 Hours or 205 days of 24-hour media coverage.  The impressions are tracked by a third party subscription service.

  • Total number of registered media: 1,010
  • Total number of media organizations: 147
  • Countries represented: The Netherlands, Japan, Belgium, France and United States
  • Total Television Impressions: 11,902,181,927
  • Total Digital Impressions: 7,374,218

High Profile Media Coverage: Yahoo! Travel, Business Insider, ABC News, Associated Press, The Travel Channel, Huffington Post, PBS, International Business Times, Bloomberg, 7 News Sydney, Toronto Sun, Taipei Times, MSN Canada, EuroNews, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Miami Herald, Portland Press Herald,,, American Way Magazine, American Cowboy, Jewish Journal, Mandarin Quarterly, Cowboys & Indians Magazine

Topics of Focus: Event-specific details, social media, traffic/weather, America’s Challenge, contests, ride incidents, Music Fiesta, 2016 dates and theme

Top onsite media/live reports: CBS Sunday Morning, The Travel Channel, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Associated Press (London), Reuters