Recognizing some of the best travel experiences in the world was the goal of the GetYourGuide Awards. PR Manager, Christine Stunder, lead the project and explains why curating this fantastic list of experiences is essential for our local communities, tour operators, and our brand.
What are the GetYourGuide Awards?
The GetYourGuide Awards celebrate the most incredible travel experiences for our customers. We’ve evaluated tens of thousands of products from our global network of tours and activities, looking for the best of the best.
You’re currently working as PR manager, how did you become involved as a project manager?
Shortly after I joined GetYourGuide earlier this year, my manager gave me insights on the 2018 awards project. I saw a huge opportunity to continue growing the Awards into something truly meaningful for our customers over the coming years. So, I started compiling all the information on last year’s awards, which included the process, results, and learnings.
How did this special project tie into your everyday PR role?
As a member of the PR team, it is my team’s mission and goal to earn brand awareness by creating and distributing great stories that the press wants to tell on our behalf. The GetYourGuide Awards had great potential to reach this goal.
That is why I took on the cross-functional project management role for the Awards. There was potential to raise the bar this year based on the learnings the team gathered last year. In addition to developing and executing a communication plan with our agencies, I managed and aligned other teams such as Brand, including designers and copywriters, our local destination managers, and our social media team.
While coordinating the awards, my responsibilities included:
Making sure all stakeholders stayed aligned
Make sure everyone knew what they were responsible for
Identifying and removing blockers as early as possible
Who did you work most closely with to curate the whole process?
It was imperative to work closely with our destination managers. They know their markets and partners inside and out and know which experiences are genuinely outstanding and incredible for our customers. We formed a special projects team with destination managers — a big thank you and shout out to Tilly, Vincent, and Lizzie, to lead the selection process.
To find the best experiences out there, our destination experts around the world dug deep into their inventory to unearth the Best Local Experiences. Best-In-Class Experiences with outstanding customer feedback were nominated as the top experiences in thousands of locations across our nine categories and six regions.
This was the first time I worked so closely with our destination managers across the globe since I joined GetYourGuide, and it was indeed a pleasure to do so. I learned so much about how they work with our local partners and how they make sure that only the best experiences are available for our customers.
The destination managers do a great job every day to work with our local partners, tour operators, and attractions to innovate existing products or creating new experiences to give our customers the best possible travel experiences in the world.
How do the GetYourGuide Awards impact destination managers and their relationship with our partners?
For destination managers, the Awards are an excellent opportunity to strengthen the relationship with the winning suppliers. We work with so many great partners around the globe, and the Awards are a way to not only showcase these excellent products to our customers and inspire them but also to thank our partners for all the hard work and their customer focus.
This year we also launched a new category, Best Tour Guides, because behind every incredible tour is a charismatic and knowledgeable guide, and we want to honor the beating heart of the journey.
Nine tour guides from across the world won the title of World’s Best Tour Guide. One of them is Erick, from Songan, Bali. He grew up on the foothills of Mount Batur and has spent the last 30 years leading treks to the summit of this sacred volcano. For Erick, being a tour guide is more than a job.
It’s a passion that’s helped him learn English, meet people from around the world, and preserve the natural beauty of Bali’s most popular trekking trail. During most treks, he fills a whole bagful of plastic that’s been discarded on the path — often with the help of his customers.
These are the stories that our local partners and customers share every day, and it was an honor to work with the team on spotlighting these fantastic stories.
Were there any challenges in coordinating the project? How did you overcome them?
The coordination included managing many stakeholders globally throughout different stages of the project, like coordinating meetings in different time zones — from Sydney to San Francisco.
The most challenging part for me was to make sure everybody was aligned at all times: It was important that the different teams were up to date on the status quo, knew early about possible blockers, and got all the relevant information to be able to contribute to the project.
To stay aligned, I chose different meeting formats: For some teams, it was weekly catch-up calls, for some parts of the project we used dedicated slack channels to be able to get in touch with each other quicker.
I also had to come up with a way to track progress and results across teams. We had a shared project plan, where every stakeholder who was responsible for a specific part of the campaign was able to track progress by themselves. For tracking results, every stakeholder was accountable for monitoring outcomes and KPIs individually, depending on the channel and the KPI.
We share these outcomes with each other on a regular basis. In the end, we pulled it all off, and we have even more learnings for next year.