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South Dakota Tourism Wins International Tourism Marketing Awards


PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism won three awards in an international competition for destination marketing organization.

HSMAI’s (Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International) Adrian Awards recognize travel marketing organizations for innovative sales and marketing efforts in advertising, public relations and digital marketing.

The department won three Adrian Awards for its efforts including a gold award for the “My Great Place” sticker FSI (free standing insert), a gold award for the public relations campaign “The State Where the Buffalo Roam” and a silver award for the “My Great Place” social media campaign.

“When considering the competition the department is up against from our peers across the country and globe, we are honored to receive these three awards,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “Our team, alongside our teams at Lawrence & Schiller, NJF and MMGY Global, work tirelessly to continue to share the South Dakota travel story. It’s gratifying to be recognized for these efforts.”

GOLD - My Great Place FSI
The goal of the “My Great Place” FSI was to create a newspaper insert that inspired vacations to South Dakota and engaged visitors with an interactive piece. The department’s research noted that children played an important role in the vacation-planning process. As a result, the insert was designed to get children excited about visiting The Mount Rushmore State by encouraging them to use removable stickers to mark the sites they wanted to visit. More than 1 million inserts were printed and placed in the Sunday edition of newspapers the week prior to Memorial Day weekend in Denver, Kansas City, Madison and Milwaukee.

GOLD - The State Where the Buffalo Roam Public Relations Campaign
To increase statewide visitation and awareness of South Dakota’s vast travel offerings, a public relations campaign was executed that focused on the state’s wildlife. The state leveraged the popular bison to engage media professionals and encourage consumers to consider South Dakota as a travel destination. National media coverage resulted from hosting more than 10 domestic media professionals for the 50th Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup resulted in media coverage from national outlets, social media, regional outlets and YouTube channels.

The department posted a video of the first bison calf of the season being born in Custer State Park. The video garnered more than 225 million impressions from national media outlets. Coverage from these campaigns included TIME, Mashable, Business Insider, Yahoo, Travel+Leisure, MSN, Thrillist, Glamour, Yahoo, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, The Weather Channel and more.

SILVER - My Great Place Social Media Campaign
To inspire target market audiences to travel to South Dakota during peak season, a social media campaign was implemented to drive engagement and website referrals. To amplify the campaign, the department executed an influencer travel program that involved banner ads, feature content stories and Twitter chats. A sweepstakes was added to the campaign to increase exposure. Additionally, the department used email marketing tactics to drive awareness of the campaign and sweepstakes, resulting in one of the highest web traffic days in the sites history.

The campaign resulted in 27,708,381 total campaign impressions, 14,944 sweepstakes entries, 169,177 social media engagements and 11,870 eNewsletter sign-ups.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.


To access photos of the creative assets for these campaigns, use this Dropbox link:


Katlyn Richter, Global Media & Public Relations Director
South Dakota Department of Tourism
Phone: 605-773-3301