Titanic Museum Attraction
The Titanic Museum Attraction hired Ackermann to manage and develop its grand opening and continue to promote the attraction throughout the past several years.
Ackermann was tasked with creating a message consistent with the museum’s philosophy of “honoring and respecting those who were on board the Titanic by keeping their stories alive” while building buzz, excitement, and enthusiasm.
The goal of this challenge was to draw visitors not only to the grand opening, but to the museum continuously.
Upon extensive research, development, and collaboration, Ackermann identified three key audiences: tourists to the Smoky Mountains, RMS Titanic enthusiasts, and fans of the hit film Titanic. Reaching this audience began with hard-hat media tours with key journalists who catered to the primary market segments. By offering exclusive insights into the construction site that was set to become the attraction, journalists and writers creating content for travel, tourism, entertainment, education, archaeology, history, and parenting publications were primed to promote the experiential destination before its opening.
This strategy brought forth a successful grand opening. Ackermann coordinated and managed all aspects of a four-day celebration hosted by Regis Philbin and covered by almost 50 news organizations in the region. Each night of the festivities concluded with a concert and $75,000 fireworks display that literally stopped traffic on the Pigeon Forge Parkway. Six hours of primetime coverage were dedicated to the Titanic grand opening on the most-watched news organization in East Tennessee, which was followed by John Joslyn’s two-hour documentary about the RMS Titanic.
The grand opening celebration was attended by 20,000 people. Local print and television coverage stretched from Asheville, NC to Baton Rouge, LA, including all major Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, and South Carolina cities. The grand opening was covered in USA Today, ABC News, Live with Regis and Kelly, and the Travel Channel
visitors per month
Following the grand opening, national network shows and Southeastern television crews have visited the museum in addition to Channel Four (a national television network in the U.K.), Southern Living Magazine, National Geographic Television, Travel + Leisure Magazine, and two additional visits from the Travel Channel.
The Titanic Museum Attraction has averaged 100,000 visitors per month since its April 8, 2010 grand opening.