Mexico has been characterized by sex trafficking, drug cartels, and tainted alcohol at resort locations.
The “Mexican drug cartels and the gruesome media coverage portrayed around the world, horrifying potential travelers to the country’s beautiful beaches and historic cities” (It’s Another Tequila Sunrise, 2013). The perception of Mexico to travelers from all around the world was at an all time low. People were too afraid to visit a country that seemed to have a corrupt police force, extensive drug related crimes, and who is unable to contain criminals such as Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the Mexican Drug Lord who headed the Sinaloa Cartel and Mexico’s top drug kingpin, added to this horrifying perception of Mexico. The Sinaloa “gang is the country’s largest cartel, based on the volume of drugs it moves” (Kellner and Pipitone, 2010). El Chapo, was wanted by the United States, even offering money to get him. He had escaped prison in Mexico multiple time, once just by bribing security guards (Wikipedia). El Chapo’s image was not good for Mexico as a whole.
The Mexico Tourism Board was set on changing the perception of Mexico and recovering the number of tourists visiting the country.
The Mexican Tourism Board enlisted the help of multiple different Public Relations agencies in Mexico, as well as the national agency Ogilvy Public Relations (It’s Another Tequila Sunrise, 2013).
The agencies decided that “Instead of promoting the typical attractions like Cancun and Tequila, the campaign invested in promotion of swimming with ocean wildlife, beautiful underground rivers and waterfalls, and Mexico’s remote beaches” (It’s Another Tequila Sunrise, 2013).
The campaign titled “The Place You Thought You Knew” was a huge success. It showed tourist that Mexico is more than drugs and all-inclusive resorts, it is a place of travel and history, “these environmental factors highlight the importance of the culture as a primary factor” (Garcia, 2016).
This was important because it helped to broaden the world’s knowledge of Mexico. This campaign reached a global audience through news networks: CNN, Newsweek, and Bloomberg, as well as integrating social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and sparking blogs from all over the world (It’s Another Tequila Sunrise, 2013).
Highlighting sightseeing instead of partying helped to change the perception of what people think when they think of Mexico. The campaign was a huge success and the year after the campaign was launched “marked the best year in Mexican Tourism with over 27 million international visitors” (It’s Another Tequila Sunrise, 2013).
All in all, Mexico’s Tourism Board did an amazing job showing their audience that Mexico is more than what meets the eye. This case study is extremely interesting since it shows Mexican Public Relations at work across the globe. They implemented their ideals, for a global audience.
Garcia, Cesar. “De-Westernizing Public Relations: A Comparative Analysis of Culture and Economics Structure in China and Mexico.” Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 17, no. 2, 2016, pp. 9–27., (Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, 2010)
“It’s Another Tequila Sunrise – Mexico’s PR Campaign for Tourism Revival.” bobby1221- Global Communication, 6 Dec. 2013, bobby1221.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/giving-the-media-a-mai-tai-mexicos-pr-campaign-for-tourism-revival/.
Kellner , Tomas, and Francesco Pipitone. “Inside Mexico’s Drug War.” World Policy Journal, EBSCOHost, 1 Mar. 2010, eds-b-ebscohost-com.ezp.lib.cwu.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&sid=9dbdf4b2-e595-4882-874e-5148795f7f63@sessionmgr101.
“Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán,” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaqu%C3%ADn_%22El_Chapo%22_Guzm%C3%A1n