• Murray McCully

"Skilful use of free media and public relations through the Millennium events should enable New Zealand to have an impact much larger than countries with huge advertising budgets", Tourism Minister Murray McCully told a New Zealand Tourism Board seminar held today to co-ordinate media strategies amongst events managers.

Mr McCully said that the New Zealand Tourism Board's $55 million budget meant that a huge advertising impact was "simply out of the question".

"Our total budget in the US is NZ$6.15m (or US$3m). Yet a 30 second TV advertisement alongside the final Seinfeld TV Show costs US$1.9m (NZ$3.8m). So the entire New Zealand Tourism Board budget for North America could buy us about 48 and a half seconds alongside Seinfeld", he said. "Even a page in the US version of Time magazine costs US$637,000. With those numbers in mind, we have to be smart and put our efforts into good visiting media and public relations initiatives which will give us big impact without a huge bill."

"When the World Cup of Golf in November this year will get us on to 180 million TV sets in 130 countries, and APEC will draw 3,000 media, feeding stories back to 1 billion people, on top of the seven months of Americas Cup coverage which will reach half a billion people, you can see the scale of our opportunity."

"We need to be realistic about our size and our resources. We will never be able to buy ourselves the international profile we need as a tourism destination. We will get noticed because we are resourceful and clever, through good use of the free media, rather than extravagant purchase of advertising time or space."