Friday, January 27, 2012

A Valentine's view like no other....

Love is in the air...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

G’Day Mate! It’s Australia Day

Today is Australia Day, the biggest annual celebration in the land down under. Anyone who has visited the great land will agree that Australia is something very special – from the rugged outback to the winding laneways and arcades in the great city of Melbourne.

In honor of the day, famed Melbourne chef Guy Grossi kicked off the morning by whipping up a delicious breakfast on CBS New York

To further celebrate the day, check out our guide to all things Melbourne in 2012.

Foodie Frenzy
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. From March 2 – 21, 2012, visitors can enjoy city street feasts and the world’s longest lunch. Almost 100 of the world’s top chefs and winemakers will converge on Melbourne for the festival’s famous Langham Masterclass.

Somewhere to call home
Melbourne was recently rated the world’s most liveable city according to recent global liveability survey, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Art Theft Challenge
Any art fans will appreciate Melbourne’s Art Series Hotel’s recent challenge to Steal Banksy. The contest has ended, but there’s still time to check out the successful (and not so successful) heist attempts.

Take a dive above the city
Adventure lovers will enjoy taking a dip in the Adelphi Hotel’s rooftop pool featuring a transparent floor that looks over a nine-story drop to the city streets below. The pool was recently featured by DEPARTURES in an online "Spectacular Hotel Rooftop Pool" roundup.

A New Beer Scene is ‘Bourne’
A burgeoning boutique brewery industry is moving in on Melbourne’s famed Yarra Valley wine region. Visitors can take advantage of the newly launched Yarra Valley Cider and Ale Trail, providing an easy route to visit all of the innovative breweries.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LDPR Digital Directory: January 2012 Edition

Got a digital dilemma? Head lost in the SoundCloud? Interested in Pinterest? No need to worry because LDPR will help make sense of it all with our Digital Directory. Follow us on Twitter and bookmark our blog for more info and updates.

LDPR Digital Directory Categories:
 Steadfast Social Site
★   Mobile Mover
  Newbie Network
★   Surprising Standouts

Founded in February 2004, Facebook is a social utility that helps people communicate more efficiently with their friends, family and coworkers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of information through the social graph, the digital mapping of people's real-world social connections. Anyone can sign up for Facebook and interact with the people they know in a trusted environment. Facebook has over 800 million active users (users who have returned to the site in the last 30 days).

Foursquare (stylized as foursquare)
Foursquare is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users "check-in" at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby. Location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or network location provided by the application. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes "badges". Whether you’re setting off on a trip around the world, coordinating a night out with friends, or trying to pick out the best dish at your local restaurant, foursquare considers itself to be “the perfect companion.” As of January 2012, Foursquare has about 15 million users worldwide and over 600,000 were using the Merchant Platform (more information at Foursquare co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai met in 2007 while working in the same office space (at different companies) in New York City. Working from Dennis' kitchen table in New York's East Village, they began building the first version of foursquare in fall 2008, and launched it at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas in March 2009. Learn more by following Dennis' A brief history of foursquare list!

Google+ makes connecting on the web more like connecting in the real world. Share your thoughts, links and photos with the right circles. Use easy, spontaneous video chat to strike up conversations with as many as nine people at once. Get everyone on the same page with fast, simple group chat. We’re very excited about the new approach to sharing we’ve created through Google+, but this is really just the beginning.

From the folks at Instagram: “When we were kids we loved playing around with cameras -- we loved how all the old Polaroid cameras marketed themselves as “instant” (something we take for granted today). We also felt that the snapshots people were taking were kind of like telegrams in that they got sent over the wire to others -- so we figured why not combine the two?”
Instagram came from that inspiration - could we make sharing your life as instant and magic as those first Polaroid pictures must have felt? Our first product is Instagram for iPhone, and we're just getting started.

LinkedIn started out in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in 2002. The site officially launched on May 5, 2003. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 members in the network. As of September 30, 2011 (the end of the third quarter), professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second. As of November 3, 2011, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 135 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

Myspace (previously styled as MySpace or My____)
Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. Myspace launched in August 2003 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors. Myspace was founded in 2003 and was acquired by News Corporation in July 2005 for $580 million. From 2005 until early 2008, Myspace was the most visited social networking site in the world, and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. In April 2008, Myspace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors, and was surpassed in the number of unique U.S. visitors in May 2009. Since then, the number of Myspace users has declined steadily in spite of several redesigns. As of December 2011, Myspace was ranked 138th by total web traffic. On June 29, 2011, Myspace was sold to Specific Media and Justin Timberlake for approximately $35 million. If he can bring sexy back, maybe he can do the same for Myspace? More to come…

myYearbook is a social site where you can connect with friends and make new friends while playing social games, earning Lunch Money, supporting your favorite causes, and much more.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.  The goal of Pinterest is to connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests…including travel!

SoundCloud is the world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere. Recording and uploading sounds to SoundCloud lets people easily share them privately with their friends or publicly to blogs, sites and social networks. It takes just a click to share sounds to Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Foursquare. SoundCloud can be accessed anywhere using the official iPhone and Android apps, as well as hundreds of creation and sharing apps built on the SoundCloud platform. For more about what SoundCloud can do, visit the tour page.

Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. Users can follow other users, and 'reblog' their posts, or choose to make their tumblelog private. The service emphasizes ease of use. As of January 5, 2012, Tumblr had over 39.5 million blogs. According to comScore, Tumblr scored 13.4 million unique visitors in the U.S. in July 2011 — up 218% from July 2010.

Tagged considers itself to be “a different kind of social network.” Other social networks are for staying in touch with people you already know. Tagged makes it easy to meet new people through social games,friend suggestionsbrowsing profilesgroup interests and much more. Tagged members can express themselves by creating custom profiles to match their individual tastes. With over 100 million members and 25 million monthly visitors, Tagged is the place where people can discover hundreds of new friends or just meet that special someone. 

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters in length, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can share a lot with a little space. Connected to each Tweet is a rich details pane that provides additional information, deeper context and embedded media. You can tell your story within your Tweet, or you can think of a Tweet as the headline, and use the details pane to tell the rest with photos, videos and other media content. Businesses use Twitter to quickly share information with people interested in their products and services, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and influential people. From brand lift, to CRM, to direct sales, Twitter offers businesses a chance to reach an engaged audience. For more information, check out Twitter 101 for Businesses, Twitter’s guide to doing business on Twitter.

Yahoo! Answers
Find out everything there is to know about Yahoo! Answers. If you are just getting started or are a seasoned veteran looking for the latest on Yahoo! Answers here is the place to find it.

Founded in February 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.

Yelp was founded in 2004 with the purpose of connecting people with great local businesses like dentists, hair stylists and mechanics. Yelp had an average of approximately 61 million monthly unique visitors in Q3 2011. Yelpers have written over 22 million local reviews. In addition to reviews, you can use Yelp to find eventslists and to talk with other Yelpers. Every business owner (or manager) can setup a free account to post photos and message customers. Yelp makes money by selling ads to local businesses - you'll see these clearly labeled "Yelp Ads" around the site. The Weekly Yelp brings locals updates on the latest and greatest business openings & other happenings.

About the LDPR Digital Directory
At the close of 2011, CNET News reported on the impressive growth of Pinterest, a new, invitation-only site that’s growing at a phenomenal pace. The article inspired us to take inventory of existing and emerging social sites/forums to create the LDPR Digital Directory. As technology evolves and new platforms and channels come and go, we’re keeping this Directory curated and relevant.

Source: Each site’s “About” section served as the primary source for content. Wiki pages were referenced as secondary sources.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI, Receives Coveted AAA Five Diamond

We're pleased to announce that the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island has been honored with the celebrated AAA Five Diamond Award® designation for 2012, the travel authority’s highest rating for hotels and restaurants. A new addition to the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Lodging list, the Ocean House is the only Five Diamond rated hotel in Rhode Island. For 2012, only 126 lodgings and 53 restaurants received the Five Diamond Rating (accounting for just 0.3 percent of the total 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean!).

To celebrate this great honor, the resort is launching a signature “AAA Five Diamond” package, inviting travelers to experience first-hand why the Ocean House has achieved membership in this elite group. Available February 1 through April 15, 2012, luxury-seekers can reserve a Deluxe or Terrace Room to receive 20% savings. Deal includes:

-Spacious accommodations with unrivaled Deluxe or Terrace Water Views
-Complimentary seasonal afternoon refreshments served in Seasons Lounge   

Rate starts at $292 per night, for a Deluxe room, based on double occupancy. Subject to availability and blackout dates apply. Tax, gratuities and resort fee excluded. Two night minimum stay over weekend dates (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). No minimum over weekdays (Monday - Thursday). Book by visiting or call 401-584-7000.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mobile tech, travel and hotels...

What comes to mind when you think mobile?
Convenience? Text messaging? Social media? 
How about room service, wake-up calls, virtual concierge?

As travelers continue to embrace digital devices, new applications and emerging platforms, hotels are in sync and riding a wave of innovation.  Find out what this could mean for guests and hotel operations moving forward... 11 Ways Mobile Technology Could Change Hotel Experience, by Frank Wolfe

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 advice?

There are a number of websites that connect travelers through social-networking.  Trippy, Gogobot, Gtrot, and FlyMuch, just to name a few.  In researching the topic, we revisited an August 2011 New York Times "Practical Traveler" column by Michelle Higgins where Gogobot and others were mentioned, "Crowd-sourcing for Travel Advice."

Which one works for you? Any new sites to keep an eye on?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Social Media & Travel in 2012....

Kevin May, editor of Tnooz shared a great infographic today that shows how travel companies are approaching social media in 2012. SimpliFlying analyzed the data from a recent EyeforTravel report. To view the infographic and highlights from the study, including which services are expected to be "huge this year," click here.
Where are travel brands concentrating their efforts in social media? [INFOGRAPHIC] | Tnooz

Friday, January 6, 2012

Just Back From...San Francisco!

LDPR’s Michaelann Millrood just returned from her hometown of San Francisco and shares a highlight…

I’m fresh off a redeye back from one of my favorite cities on earth – San Francisco. Having spent middle school and high school in the Bay Area, my parents have since moved back East, but I still go back each year to ring in New Years with some of my oldest friends. 
Regardless of the season, no trip to the Bay Area is complete without a day outside in sneakers. Usually we’ll head down the Peninsula to hike amongst the redwood trees in Woodside or in the golden hills of Palo Alto's Arastradero Nature Preserve. However, this time around my friend suggested we hike “in San Francisco.” And we’re not talking a little stroll along the beach or a walk through Golden Gate Park – we did a legit (albeit pretty easy) hike in San Francisco proper, along the forest and coastline in the northwest corner of the city. The Lands End hike -- we did the Lands End, Sutro Baths, and Coastal Trail segments – offered up a gorgeous day complete with dramatic cliffs, crazy surfers, eerie Northern California fog, shadowy cypress trees, bathhouse ruins, a striking sunset, and 30-mile views of coastline. 
Days like this are what will make any NYC California-transplant miss home. Save the beautiful meteor shower we watched on Ocean Beach on Tuesday night, I’d say the hike was the most awe-inspiring part of my trip. 

Check out my photos of Land’s End below!
Strolling into the fog

You'd never guess there's an ocean behind me
Where did Alan go?    

Oddly enough there are bathhouse ruins on the coast of California 

Over snacks and Bloody Mary's at the historic Cliff House restaurant, the fog revealed a classic West Coast sunset
The Golden Gate Bridge makes an appearance at dusk as the fog clears

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

LDPR Recognizes Tricia Lanigan

Taking in the beautiful views of Croatia

If you can look past the single digit temperatures in New York City, 2012 is off to a great start and it's even better for one of our staffers! We are very proud to recognize one of our star employees this month, Tricia Lanigan, who was promoted to Assistant Account Executive. Since moving from the West Coast out to NYC and joining the LDPR family last year, Tricia has wow'ed all of us with her can-do enthusiastic attitude, great work and PR savvy. Check her out on Twitter where you can catch updates on her clients and industry news: @Tlanigan. 

And in honor of the New Year, we have asked Tricia to share a few of her travel resolutions:
  •  Take more weekend trips - there are lots of great two-day getaways in the Northeast that I need to explore
  • Plan trips further in advance - my last trip to Croatia was planned very last minute so we ended up with every early morning plane, train, and bus departure. Late nights and early mornings leave for very tired days. 
  • Make the journey to Machu Picchu - my mom and I have been planning to do this trip for several years and this fall is the perfect time. 
  • Explore Napa Valley - I love visiting wine regions and have still never been to this iconic destination
  • Be better about asking for upgrades - you never know what's possible until you ask!
 Please join us in congratulating Tricia!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

LDPR Recognizes Dana Curatolo

 What a great way to kick off the New Year! We are proud to shine the spotlight on one of our dynamic LDPR staffers, Dana Curatolo, who has been promoted to Account Executive. Dana joined the LDPR family in 2009 (she was our hard-working intern in 2008). Since then, she has been dazzling her clients and colleagues alike with her dedication, enthusiasm and top-notch media placements. We invite you to get to know Dana, as she shares some of her favorite travel experiences and tips from the kitchen...

Most memorable travel experience? On my last trip to Italy, I was in the village Monterchi, not too far from Siena, staying at an agriturismo called Canto degli Alberti. The last night of our stay, the proprietor and her family had a little "festa" as a thank-you for staying with them. Out by the pool, we drank local wine under the stars accompanied by homemade panzanella, truffled gnocchi, porchetta and a variety of crostini. In that moment I found the perfect balance of feeling "at home" yet still whisked away, which was why it was so memorable. When you're traveling and find that feeling, it's pretty awesome. 
Your must-have travel items? Nikon D3100, well-stocked iPhone with new playlists, good book, Evian moisturizing spray (great for long flights), a lot of dresses (accomplish an easy, put together look without taking up too much space!), my red leather passport cover, travel journal and most importantly: extra space in my carry-on...I'm a bit addicted to souvenir-ing. 
Rumor has it that you know your way around the kitchen. Any recipes to share? I probably feel most at home in the kitchen (or an airplane for that matter). A great go-to is my no-fail recipe for Chicken or Pork Saltimbocca (literally means "kick in the mouth" in Italian, and lives up to its name)
  • Pound out pork loin or chicken breasts for tenderness, season well with salt & pepper, coat in flour, and fasten a piece of pancetta and a fresh sage leaf to each piece with a toothpick. 
  • Melt a a tablespoon of butter and some extra virgin olive oil in a pan, add chicken/pork two pieces at a time, pancetta side down.
  • Cook on each side about 1.5 minutes. When the meat is done cooking, remove from the pan and deglaze with dry white wine (I use Chardonnay). 
  • Let sauce reduce and pour over chicken/pork.
Favorite meal you've had during your travels? In Cascais, Portugal with my best friend. We stumbled upon a fantastic restaurant called "B&B." Accompanied by another couple, we were the only ones in the restaurant (for a four-hour meal). The staff was slim-- I mean one waiter, one chef, one host. Oh, and I should mention they were all the same man! I ordered  a whole Dorade, a local specialty. The fish was unbelievable; everything about it was perfect. On this side of the Atlantic, I have to mention an extraordinary meal my boyfriend Sean and I had at a restaurant called Ye Olde Tavern in Manchester, Vermont. I fell in love with the decor, aroma, service and obviously, the food. My favorite was the chicken pot pie, which I nibbled on with the American flag as a back drop. Twas' the perfect red, white and blue foodie moment. 
A farm stand in Manchester, Vermont

At LDPR you are known as being photog-savvy, can you share a few of your favorite travel pics?
A sunny day in Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italian Riviera  


Peaches in Montepulciano, Tuscany


My photo
For over 20 years LDPR has guided some of the world’s most prestigious travel brands through an evolving media landscape with creativity, professionalism and enthusiasm. We are a highly driven and innovative travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City with a global roster of clients from destinations and tour companies to exclusive private islands, hotels and resorts. Our unique culture is defined by our collaborative and strategic approach to working with clients, media and our staff, leading to a strong partnership with measurable results.