New Orleans & Company is pleased to announce the promotion of Tara Letort, Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), to senior director of group PR and communications, and the hire of new communications and marketing manager, Kristen Loflin.
Letort previously served as New Orleans & Company’s director of group public relations specializing in customized marketing, advertising and creating attendance-building tools for incoming meetings and conventions as well as promoting New Orleans to meeting planners and securing earned media coverage for groups in town. In this new position, her role will expand to include providing public relations support during the sales process, working to execute the public relations strategy with meetings trade publications, supporting media missions and convention customer events in Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York, and organizing and planning media events for incoming conventions or industry conferences.
“Over the past 12 years, Tara has basically created a specialized division within our communications/PR department that helps our convention sales and services teams provide support for convention groups after their leadership have chosen New Orleans as their destination. The feedback we’ve gotten from meeting and event planners is overwhelming gratitude for this level of support, which includes: building convention attendance, generating local media exposure for conventions from out of town, developing customized microsites and videos for convention attendees, connecting groups with volunteer and team-building opportunities in New Orleans, and many others. The model Tara has created here for providing marketing support for our convention bookings is now being emulated by our competition, but her model was the original in our industry,” said Kristian Sonnier, vice president of public relations and communications for New Orleans & Company.
A Forty Under 40 recipient by Association Forum of Chicagoland and USAE newspaper, Letort has served as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Gulf States Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and was one of the first PR professionals to obtain the CMP Certification in 2012. Letort was the first Director-level PR professional dedicated solely to conventions and events coming to New Orleans, and her efforts have led to service that is becoming the new industry standard. Letort joined the New Orleans & Company team in 2007 as director of group PR and communications. Prior to joining New Orleans & Company, she worked as an account manager at the Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee, Fla. She holds a B.A. in communications from the University of Alabama.
New Orleans & Company also recently hired Kristen Loflin. As communications and marketing manager, Loflin is responsible for promoting New Orleans through proactive pitching, organizing press trips and coordinating and managing marketing assets for New Orleans & Company’s communication channels. Additionally, Loflin will support New Orleans & Company in providing proactive, strategic marketing, communication and public relations assistance to all internal departments.
Loflin previously worked as the tourism manager for Onslow County Tourism in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She holds a B.A. in public relations from Louisiana State University.
New Orleans & Company is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. New Orleans & Company and its members and partners influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding, visitor services and local advocacy initiatives at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Chicago, Columbia, SC, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany and China. Consistently recognized as one of the top five destination marketing organizations in the country, New Orleans & Company celebrates its 59th anniversary in 2019. For more information, please visit Neworleans.com/about.