2015 Rising PR Stars (corporation and association): Anne Bailey Austin, PR & Communications Manager, Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory

The PR & Communications Manager for Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory, Anne Bailey Austin created and oversaw its FY 2014-2015 social media strategy, which resulted in sharp increases in engagement, reach and followers across channels.

Austin combines creative ideas, social media measurement and emerging industry trends to keep Mt. Hood Territory socially relevant and engaging, and has positioned The Territory’s social channels among its website’s top traffic drivers.

She conceptualized Mt. Hood Territory “iPineraries” as a way to tap into Pinterest’s influence over travel decisions. iPineraries combine Pinterest's mapping feature with photogenic attractions and events to help further drive interest in The Territory’s travel offerings. Current iPineraries include farm loops, heritage trails, art walks and special events. Pinterest followers have increased by more than 30% since iPineraries’ inception, and tourism industry leaders across the country have praised the concept as an example of Oregon leading the way in tourism creativity.

In addition, she identified the need for an overall advertising strategy across social channels, especially on Facebook. Thanks to a combination of beautiful photography and targeted, low-cost post boosts, Mt. Hood Territory’s Facebook page continues to increase its engagement and reach large numbers (even without the aid of contests or promotions, which were used in FY 2013-2014). Facebook engagement in FY 2014-2015 exceeded FY 2013-2014 by 48% with more than 1.6M likes, comments and shares.