In a competitive category that spanned all industries, Westchester County Tourism & Film’s organic Instagram work—designed to position the County as a destination “beyond the everyday” and support tourism recovery during the pandemic—won Best Use of Social Media in the Bronze Anvil Awards, as presented by the Public Relations Society of America. The nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community, PRSA has been conducting its Bronze Anvil Awards for 79 years. The award program recognizes the best of the best in public relations tactics that contribute to the success of overall programs or campaigns. Other finalists in the category included Tropicana, TABASCO® Brand, Providence and Jackson State University Communications.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “As Westchester County Tourism continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic, inspiring storytelling keeps our region top-of-mind for travel consideration. The groundwork Westchester Tourism laid, and the collaboration with the municipalities means the County now has a more robust and more engaged online community to connect with going forward.”

Westchester County Tourism & Film’s Instagram work also earned gold this spring in the 2021 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s Adrian Awards in the Digital Marketing-Social Media Campaign category. For 65 years HSMAI has recognized travel marketing excellence through its Adrian Awards, and Westchester Tourism’s Instagram work was judged among the best practices and innovations in the hospitality industry that will empower recovery. The Instagram campaign was also a finalist in PR Daily’s 2021 Digital Marketing & Social Media Awards.

Westchester County Tourism & Film’s social media marketing effort is led by Director Natasha Caputo and integrated marketing communications agency, Mower. To support tourism recovery to the region, dynamic storytelling was leveraged across Instagram—from in-feed posts and stories to newer features like reels and guides—to introduce the people and places of Westchester that make it a vibrant, special destination for an easy getaway. Representatives of the County, from restaurants like Goosefeather and The Cookery to attractions like Lyndhurst Mansion, Jay Heritage Center, Armour-Stiner Octagon House and Hudson River Museum, as well as shops and businesses like Penny Lick Ice Cream and Wings Air Helicopter Tours, were given an opportunity to share their first-hand stories through Westchester Tourism’s Instagram channel. Important events like Westminster Kennel Club’s Dog Show, which moved to Westchester County in 2021, and returns again this year, were also spotlighted.

Building on Westchester County Tourism & Film’s “Beyond” brand platform, first launched in January 2020, different County municipalities were engaged for the curation of 17 hyper-local itineraries for Those recommendations were then transformed into a series of complementing Instagram reels that offered a snapshot of the County’s unique communities, helping travelers map how to make the most of their time in Westchester.

Caputo added: “It’s important for us to connect with prospective travelers where they are, and 40% of the U.S. population is on Instagram. We knew this rapidly evolving online channel, which offers many visually captivating opportunities to express the Westchester travel experience, was important to get right, and we worked to pull every lever Instagram offered to tell Westchester’s travel story. The response was incredible.”