Kayla Lynskey Climbs Corporate Ladder, Named Travel PR DirectorAugust 22, 2018
Focused, committed, passionate about delivery – that’s how her peers at Development Counsellors International describe Kayla Lynskey.
Since joining DCI nearly four years ago from a PR firm specializing in Caribbean travel, Kayla has proven her ability to make the magic happen for her destination marketing clients. She’s landed media placements in every major print and online outlet in the travel space, boosted broadcast coverage for her clients on both network and cable television, and structured strategic brand partnerships that have introduced consumers to new travel destinations.
In Kayla’s newly appointed role as DCI’s Travel PR Director, Kayla will oversee the New York and Toronto-based travel publicist teams, ensuring that DCI continues to drive consumer awareness for the firm’s destination clients.
“There’s no publicist I’d rather on our team when we need to find a home for a ‘difficult to place’ story. Kayla will go the extra mile – research new contacts, rework the angle, and find a way to make the client swoon over the results,” noted Karyl Leigh Barnes, President of Tourism at Development Counsellors International.
So, what does Kayla’s describe as her travel PR career milestones? Here’s some insight in her own words:
What’s the most interesting story you’ve pitched during your career and what were some of the “highlight” results?
My love for music made pitching the grand-opening of the Songbirds Guitar Museum in Chattanooga extremely interesting and exciting! Through a partnership with the museum and Grammy-Award winning country star Vince Gill, we secured major placements announcing the museum’s launch in New York Times, People.com, USA Today, Washington Post, and that directly resulted in an increase of visitor arrivals to the city.
What’s been one of the most stressful experiences of your public relations career and what did you learn from it?
One of the most stressful situations I have experienced during my career was when Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria ripped through much of the Caribbean. Barbados, a DCI client, sits outside the hurricane belt and was left unscathed, however, it was repeatedly looped into news coverage that wrongly declared complete devastation across the entire Caribbean region. This experience taught me that it is always important to closely monitor news coverage to develop a strategic response plan, which in this case, included identifying and dispelling critical inaccuracies. Prioritizing crisis communications is important for any travel PR executive.
Name one thing that has contributed to your continuous professional growth?
I would have to say my commitment to continuous learning and self-improvement both at work and in my personal life. I am determined to obtain the knowledge and experience needed to achieve my goals in destination marketing and become the best version of myself possible.
What career advice do you have for travel PR professionals who are just starting out in the PR profession?
Be flexible! Public relations is a fast-paced industry and each day will bring a new set of challenges, projects and opportunities. As a PR specialist, you will need to be able to quickly pivot from one task to the next. I also recommend building your network of media contacts early on. This will set you up for success as you work to promote client news and key messages.
How can travel destinations get the most out of travel PR agencies?
You hired your agency for a reason, so trust their recommendations! At DCI, we are committed to our clients’ success. We are experts at positioning our clients as champions within the industry and telling their stories to ultimately increase arrivals and visitor spend. Our clients know this and trust us to introduce new and innovative public relations strategies and implement effective and creative campaigns.