Title page for ETD etd-04132005-161415

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Bauman, Bonnie Anne
URN etd-04132005-161415
Title Bonjour Canada: A Case Study of the 1995-2000 Louisiana Public Relations Campaign to Attract Canadian Visitors to Louisiana
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Anne Cunningham Committee Chair
John Maxwell Hamilton Committee Member
Lisa Lundy Committee Member
  • canadian visitation
  • public relations and tourism
  • louisiana and public relations
  • louisiana tourism
Date of Defense 2005-02-24
Availability unrestricted
The research undertaken in this study explores five years of the Louisiana Office of Tourism's public relations campaign to attract Canadian visitors to Louisiana. The study considers how the campaign's organizers used the cultural bond between French-speaking Canadians and Louisiana to attract Canadians to Louisiana. The study also examines how important the public relations strategy of highlighting the cultural bond between host and tourist was in attracting Canadian visitors to the state. In addition, the study uncovers whether or not campaign organizers considered the impact their campaign would have on Louisiana's Cajun citizenry.

The research method employed was the case study method. Interviews were conducted with campaign organizers, and a case description was used to organize and analyze the data. The findings of the study show that the campaign's planners segmented the Canadian market into two distinct demographics, French-speaking Canadians and English-speaking Canadians. In its campaign to attract French-speaking Canadians to the state, highlighting the cultural bond between the two regions was vital to the campaign's success. The strategy included the hosting of a year-long celebration of the state's French heritage as well as a mammoth Cajun family reunion and event sponsorships throughout French-speaking Canada. Ultimately, the Louisiana Office of Tourism concluded that its campaign positively impacted the state's Cajun community, both economically and culturally. For their part, representatives of the Cajun community expressed concern about the campaign. Specifically, they said they believed the way in which Cajuns were sometimes portrayed in the campaign served to perpetuate stereotypes. Lastly, the study shows that the campaign jibed with one of the four tourism public relations models developed by prominent tourism public relations scholar, Don Stacks. Stacks translated the four historic models of public relations developed by J. Grunig for application to the tourism industry. The campaign is a clear example of Stacks' two-way asymmetric model, the research shows.

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