Ocean City Maryland Department of Tourism Wins Prestigious Award for Best Media and Public Relations Campaign at the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit


Ocean City Maryland Catch A Ride 2023

Catch a Ride Activation in Philadelphia, PA
Catch a Ride Activation in Philadelphia, PA

Ocean City, Maryland, Nov. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Ocean City Department of Tourism & Business Development is thrilled to announce that it has been honored with the “Best Media and Public Relations Campaign” award at the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit for its innovative 2023 program, “Catch a Ride.” The program was designed to assist travelers in selecting the ideal vacation destination, coinciding with the launch of the department’s new brand platform, “Somewhere to Smile About.”

The “Catch a Ride” program, featuring a customized 1970’s iconic VW beach van, embarked on a mobile tour from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia and Baltimore, kicking off on National Road Trip Day (May 26th) and continuing through Memorial Day weekend. This first-of-its-kind initiative for the tourism office positioned Ocean City as a friendly, carefree destination, encouraging travelers to pack up their cars for the ultimate summer trip to Ocean City.

To generate awareness of each event in advance of a crowded holiday weekend, the team executed a hardworking public relations strategy that included a program launch and media preview in Ocean City, global news release, event and lifestyle media pitches and media alerts to invite local media to visit the tour. These efforts resulted in an impressive 176 million media impressions, seven unique placements and an earned media value of $1.6 million. Notable placements included features in MSN, Thrillist, and a live broadcast feature with local Baltimore station, WBAL.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award for our ‘Catch a Ride’ program,” stated Tom Perlozzo, Director of Ocean City Tourism. “This achievement is a testament to the dedication and creativity of our team, along with our partners at BVK, in promoting Ocean City as a must-visit destination. We believe in creating experiences that resonate with travelers, and ‘Catch a Ride’ perfectly embodies the spirit of our new brand platform, ‘Somewhere to Smile About.'”

The public relations strategy complemented a media plan that encompassed social media, mobile billboards, radio and influencer marketing and earned Ocean City over 275 million impressions. All efforts supported traffic to the mobile tour, encouraging nearly 5,000 Mid-Atlantic residents to enter for their chance to “Catch a Ride” to Ocean City and other prizes.

Beyond quantitative metrics, the campaign garnered qualitative success and gratitude from event attendees, residents, and local businesses. The positive response has sparked anticipation for the next phase of “Catch a Ride.”

“The success of ‘Catch a Ride’ has been overwhelming, and we are excited to bring ‘Catch a Ride’ back for 2024,” Perlozzo continued. “This initiative has become a symbol of Ocean City’s welcoming spirit, and we can’t wait to continue spreading smiles and creating memorable experiences for our visitors for the summer and beyond.”

To learn more about future pop-up events and programs, make sure to follow OCMD on social media! For more information on hotels, attractions, itineraries and to begin planning your vacation to OCMD today, visit OCOcean.com


About Ocean City, Maryland:

Located along Maryland’s coast in Worcester County, Ocean City (OC) stretches along 10 miles of beach from the Inlet to the Delaware state line. Awarded as one of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Beaches and “One of America’s Cleanest, Greenest Beach Communities,” it claims distinct neighborhoods – Downtown, Midtown and Uptown – each with a charm and offering all its own. In addition to its beaches, OC offers a famous 3-mile boardwalk, numerous amusement parks, 17 championship golf courses, 200+ restaurants and the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. Accommodations include more than 10,000 hotel rooms from major hotel chains to quaint, locally owned gems, and 21,000 rentable condominiums. The convenient resort town, by car, is within five hours of New York and Richmond, and less than three hours from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia and, by air, the Salisbury/Ocean City Regional Airport is just 30 minutes from OC. To learn more and start planning your trip visit, OCOcean.com.


CONTACT: Jessica Waters Marketing & Communications Director, Ocean City Maryland Tourism [email protected] Grace Devine Public Relations Account Supervisor, BVK [email protected] 

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