Taking Tourism Marketing to New Heights with Discover Puerto Rico

Back in 2018, Discover Puerto Rico was founded as Puerto Rico’s official destination marketing organization (DMO), built out with a one-man team, as Jean-Paul Polo spearheaded the creative process alongside an outside agency based in New York City.

As the team grew and they moved to an in-house creative team, the DMO began empowering their employees and freelancers on-location to create engaging content meant to inspire more travel to the island of Puerto Rico.

Nowadays, this passionate team is producing award-winning content, with three Emmys, a Cannes Lion award, an American Society of Travel Advisors award and a Brand USA award under their belt.

We caught up with JP, who’s now the Director of Creative Strategy at Discover Puerto Rico, and Darlien Morales, Associate Content Producer, to get an Inside Look at their creative process, how they use PhotoShelter to power their workflow, and a deeper dive into some of their recent projects and creative campaigns.

Watch the full on-demand presentation and Q&A below and continue reading to dig into the details:

Grounded in Research 

Right from the start of their presentation, JP and Darlien made it clear that their team values a strategic approach to content creation, with research and insights at the forefront of all their creative decisions. This thorough process, along with the right tools at their disposal, makes it easier to have a scalable workflow for every new campaign.

“I think it’s a great learning point for anybody who’s working on content creation for any organization – whether they’re a for-profit, a media company, a non-profit organization, a small brand or a big brand… Nowadays, the amount of content we have to create requires that brands evaluate whether there is a loss or a profit to having some sort of in-house content creation.

But in order to do that, you have to really assess what tools your team is going to need, because there is going to be a need to invest in the right infrastructure and in the right equipment, software – programs like PhotoShelter – so you have to really set up the framework for how everything’s going to work from pre-production, production to distribution to ensure that you’re giving them the right tools… there are a lot of things to consider, but that model that you’re looking at is used by some of the top media companies in the world.”

– Jean-Paul Polo

With this model in place, the Discover PR team can continue to produce engaging, award-winning content. Partnerships in particular take their visual storytelling to the next level.

Flying with Frontier 

Did you know that Frontier Airlines features photos of animals on the tails of their planes? With robust service to/from Puerto Rico, it was only a matter of time until they highlighted the wildlife native to the island – an endangered species, too. Discover PR recently had the opportunity to provide a photo of a Coquí Llanero for a Frontier airplane, with a fun, educational and exciting campaign on social media to go alongside their partnership.

In order to produce the visuals, Darlien and her team went out in the field with Doctor Neftali Rios, the expert who discovered the endemic species in 2005, to research the wildlife and create images of the tiny coquí (it’s as small as a dime!). The results are incredible and more awareness about Puerto Rico’s wildlife is always a win. Go behind the scenes in this recap below!

Celebrating Inclusion and Representation

In addition to partnerships with brands and outside organizations, the team at Discover Puerto Rico partners with the Puerto Rican people, too. They always aim to tell authentic, engaging and inclusive stories through visuals, online programming and creative content. As one of the most LGBTQ-friendly islands in the Caribbean, there is something for everyone — including welcoming accommodations, proud local voices, nightlife and more.

As they say on their website… 

“We say bienvenidos to inclusivity, equality, and — above all else, love!”

Related content: How Discover Puerto Rico Revitalized Tourism Through Visual Storytelling

For the Discover PR team, showcasing real transgender families, gay couples and more people from the LGBTQ community is often top of mind. As they enjoy all that the island has to offer, sharing these real stories on social media and in their marketing materials adds to the representation that is so important to JP, Darlien, their team and to the people of Puerto Rico.

The Importance of Environmental Advocacy

It should be noted that while JP and Darlien detailed their passion for creative storytelling throughout our Inside Look, they also made sure to mention just how important it is for their team to create content that also considers, honors and promotes environmental advocacy. With backgrounds in wildlife filmmaking and conservation, they’re very conscious about how they make their content to ensure the right message is always present.

“We know that as the owners of the brand, we’re able to go out and be the owners of how we export our culture through content. So we know that long-form is going to be a huge strategy for us. We’re currently developing a digital series with a very well-known Puerto Rican singer, based on ecotourism and sustainability….

“We want to make sure that people are dispersing through Puerto Rico, to 1. Not negatively impact our environmental resources, and 2. To ensure that the economic impact that tourism is having is not centralized in just the capital city of San Juan, but in all municipalities.”

– Jean-Paul Polo

Learn more about their nature reserves, state forests, bioluminescent bays and more in this article that highlights 100 Things to Love About Puerto Rico.

If you want to dive deeper into the Discover Puerto Rico team’s creative process, watch the full on-demand webinar and our Q&A! Have any burning questions for JP and Darlien? Tag us on Twitter or Instagram (@psforbrands) and let us know! We’ll be sure to pass them along to Discover PR.

Taking Tourism Marketing to New Heights with Discover Puerto Rico is written by Jeremy Berkowitz for

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