Team Travels Proclaiming: “Bring It To The Beach!”

To the outside world they may believe there is an off-season here in Virginia Beach, but as we all know here at the CVB there is no such thing as an off-season and they have proven that. They hit the ground running at the start of the New Year traveling literally across the globe to “Bring it to the Beach!”

The very first week of January, Jamie Mitchell presented our new exhibit booth in San Diego, CA during the Religious Conference Managers Association’s annual meeting. The following week, Todd Bertka, Sally Noona, and Jane White hosted two client events in Vancouver, BC while attending the Professional Conference Managers Association. Lisa MacArthur had a very successful sales mission to the greater Chicago area, while Dawn Whittaker attended the Diversity Conference in Atlanta, GA. Closer to the end of the month, this team hosted two very important site visits: Sister Cities International and CVC East representing citywide opportunities in 2016 and 2017.

Tips For Getting Local Media Coverage

Want to help your client get local press? Want to have your professional work and projects recognized locally? Here are some questions to ask. Anyone one of these criteria may qualify for local media interest.

1. NEW. If your event/group is a returning event, what is new this year? (If it is a new event/group, that is newsworthy).

2. VISUAL APPEAL. Do you have a high-res photo of something unique about your event/group that can be sent to the media?

3. DIFFERENT. Is there anything unusual about your event/group (quirky, funny, curious, thought-provoking, trend-setting)?

4. BROAD-BASED APPEAL. Does your event/group appeal to a small/niche market or is there universal appeal?

5. EMPLOYEE/CELEBRITY SPOTLIGHT. Is there a particular person for your event/group that should be highlighted for being extraordinary?

After having these discussions with your client, send a photo with your “pitch” to the Communications Unit (it can be just a few sentences) to We will review your news, and if it meets the criteria we will distribute in one or all of the following ways:
-Employee blog
-Industry newsfeed article on
-Industry Social Media Channels (Facebook, Twitter)
-Direct pitch to local reporter
-Press release to local media list

Additionally, if your team is doing something great, tell us. This can be securing new business, getting a certificate, photos from a cool trip, awards, on the road photos, random facts about your life you want to share with staff… email Include a photo!

Six Tips For Truly Disconnecting On Vacation

Written by Tiffany Russell –

This January I was able to go on a delightful family vacation for 10 days. It was the first vacation I’ve taken in my career where I didn’t check work email or voicemail. US Travel Association research indicates the majority (43%) of American workers are dedicating less than 20 hours a week to quality family time. Just 19 percent are spending more than 40 hours a week with family. So how did I travel across the country and completely disconnect?

1. I met with my team. I was able to identify team members to help with specific areas. I established a chain of command for uncertain issues. I gave my team a list of leaders within the CVB to talk to about an issue before they called me. If they called me, it was on my personal cell phone. I told them what constituted a REAL emergency.

2. I called my major stakeholders in advance. I told them the plan and gave them contacts. I answered any questions they had. I met with the agency in advance to ensure projects were wrapped up before I left. Any outstanding projects could wait until I returned.

3. I talked to my supervisor. I was proactive in communicating my desire to disconnect and discussing expectations on both sides with my supervisor. I had support from my supervisor. I already had a plan in place that I was able to share.

4. I removed email alerts from technology. I turned my work phone off. I changed the voicemail. I removed my work email account from my phones, computer and iPad.

5. I didn’t reinstall them.

6. I waited until last day to make a check-in call. On my last vacation day (from the airport on my return flight), I made one phone call to my team to get a list of immediate to-dos for when I arrived the next day and to let me know what happened while I was gone. That gave me peace of mind to transition into work-mode the next day.

Guess what? My family was so happy to spend uninterrupted time with me. I didn’t get a single phone call. My staff was pleased that I trusted them to get the work done. I only spent one work day working late to catch up. One long work day was worth the 10 days I had with my family. I encourage you to speak to your supervisor and follow these steps if you need help disconnecting from work. It all comes down to supervisor support and knowing their expectations. Good luck and happy vacationing!

Southern Living Talks VB Oysters!

We are thrilled to announce some amazing coverage in Southern Living’s 50th Anniversary Edition (Circulation: 2,818,214)! Pleasure House Oysters was listed at numbers 2-4 within “Best Places in the South Now,” both in print and online.

Southern Living has been persistently sharing the issue on their social channels (Facebook: 1.8M, Twitter: 147K and Instagram: 427K), reminding us how huge it is to be included in the magazine’s 50th Anniversary Edition, as well as how large of an interest people have in Virginia Oysters.

Take sometime to read and share the article.

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Pilot Covers Gift Card Fundraiser

This information about our “Hospitality for the Holidays” project finally ran yesterday in the Kempsville edition of the Pilot’s Beacon:

“Hospitality for the Holidays”


The Virginal Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau partnered with the Virginia Beach hotel and restaurant associations for the second annual “Hospitality for the Holidays” give back program. More than 119 gift cards and certificates, totaling over $2,900, were collected for distribution throughout the hospitality industry to employees in need. The gift cards were donated by attendees of an annual hospitality holiday celebration at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

Pictured: Richard Murphy, general manager of Comfort Suites Beachfront, adds another gift card to the tree.

VBCC 10th Anniversary Video

Had a great time this week celebrating the Virginia Beach Convention Center’s 10th anniversary.  Travis, from the communications team, put together this video for the event to capture how special the VBCC is .Here it is for all of you that didn’t see it.

Please enjoy  and share with whoever you like.


Community Projects 2015

The Communications Unit participates in several community projects and initiatives to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders. The following is an update on community relations activities by our unit for December 2015:

LGBT: Tiffany was invited to meet with Laura Habr, Russell Lyons and Hampton Roads Pride to discuss potential programming for Virginia Beach. The CVB is a 2016 sponsor of Hampton Roads Pride.

Resort Block Conversations: Tiffany continues to attend community meetings with police and bar owners at oceanfront to discuss improvements to area. The ultimate goal of this group is to improve business practices to reduce crime in this area of the resort. The business owners are looking to model an association similar to the ViBe district to capitalize on tourism efforts.

Public Relations Society of America: The CVB is a sponsor of the PRSA Hampton Roads chapter for 2016. Tiffany chairing Pinnacle Awards committee, an awards luncheon to be held at VBCC in June. Thank you VBCC for your support!

VBHA Community Relations Committee: Teresa continues to serve on the VBHA Community Relations committee and was involved with the Hospitality for the Holidays give back program.

Social Media for Industry Stakeholders

The CVB Communications Unit is looking forward to unveiling a new social media platform to reach our local stakeholders. This tactic aligns with our strategic plan initiative ADVOCACY 1.1.

Corporate social media platforms developed for 2016 launch are as follows: CVBvabeach

If you are active on LinkedIn, please connect with our company page as well. Questions? See Tiffany.

Recent Media Coverage

The following out-of-market media coverage was secured in December. Enjoy and feel free to share!
The Huffington Post, “11 Fun Atlantic Coastal Escapes for Winter”

U.S. News & World Report, “10 Top Places to See Holiday Lights Across America”

Family Travel Forum, “Top Holiday Lights Celebrations Across America”

Group Tour Magazine, “Rockafeller’s serves the freshest catches from Rudee Inlet”

Leisure Group Travel “ABA Recognizes Virginia Beach Events for 2016”

Sock Drive Story Picked Up

The Communications Unit is pleased to share our efforts to secure local media coverage for the CVB (both what we pitched to media on your behalf and what actually received coverage) in December 2015. Teresa pitched Hospitality for the Holidays to the Beacon & City Manager’s Update (appeared in 12/11 edition of CMU; Beacon replied it may run post-holidays). Teresa pitched Sock Drive story to Beacon/CMU (which appeared in 12/20 Beacon). Tiffany pitched CTA program to Inside Business. Jim Retirement announcement appeared in Inside Business 12/28:

Share your news with us and we will follow up with more information as needed from you.