Fareportal: PR Executive
Company Description: Fareportal is a travel technology company that powers hybrid (online/traditional) travel agencies, such as #3 CheapOair and #7 OneTravel. Utilizing its innovative technology and company owned and operated contact centers, Fareportal has forged strong industry partnerships with over 450 airlines, 150,000 hotels and 100s of car rental companies to serve millions of customers every year.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications, Investor Relations, or PR Executive of the Year
Nomination Title: Julia Zamorska, senior director of corporate communications
Tell the story about what this nominated executive has achieved since January 1, 2014 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.
Fareportal is one of the fastest growing travel companies in the world. With more than 2,500 employees, Fareportal powers CheapOair, which is the #3 biggest travel site behind brands such as Expedia/Orbitz and Priceline, handling more than 20% of U.S. online travel traffic.
As senior director of corporate communications, Julia Zamorska heads Fareportal’s global public relations department, in charge of employees and PR agencies across 5 countries. In her previous position as head of global PR for iolo technologies, a software company with over 45 million users worldwide, Ms. Zamorska won several prestigious business and industry awards.
1. Finalist for PRWeek Awards 2013 "In-House PR Professional of the Year". The “Oscars of PR” honored Ms. Zamorska as the only under-40-years-old executive among top executives from AECOM, Cisco, Ford and Hilton (all of which are thousand times the size of iolo technologies).
2. Won Golden Bridge Awards 2012' "Corporate Communications Executive of the Year".
3. Won Stevie Awards for Women in Business 2011' "Executive of the Year", again winning against CEOs and COOs of much larger companies.
4. Named to PR News' "15-to-Watch" list of up-and-coming PR stars in 2011.
5. Selected runner-up for PRWeek Awards 2009' "Young PR Professional of the Year".
Despite its size and standing, Fareportal did not have a PR department or any PR strategy or presence until September 2014. When Ms. Zamorska joined the company as the first head of the department in September 2014, she had her work cut out for her. In the short span of eight months since then, Ms. Zamorska achieved the following:
1. Global PR infrastructure: Established a global PR infrastructure of both in-house PR professionals and PR agencies across 5 countries, doubling the PR department in size and more than tripling ROI on both existing and new PR agency contracts.
2. Prestigious award wins: In eight months, secured 26 top-tier business and industry awards and the finalist standing for 6 further awards, for an average of 4 awards per month. This represented a staggering 1300% (13 times!) increase when compared to average 2007-2013 award numbers for the company and more than 55% of the company’s total awards to date. The awards won included well-recognized and highly regarded accolades:
- AVA Digital Awards
- Global Business Excellence Awards
- Horizon Interactive Awards
- Interactive Media Awards
- International Service Excellence Awards
- MarCom Awards
- Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service
- Stevie Awards for Women in Business
- Webby Awards
3. Top-tier press coverage: Secured more than 130 articles, for a triple growth in coverage numbers, including a top profile story on the company CEO in Fortune Magazine. Other press coverage included such top-tier publications:
- ABC News
- Huffington Post
- Men’s Journal
- New York Times
- U.S. News & W
4. Key press interviews and events:
- Secured numerous in-person meetings with top-tier press: Network World, New York Times, Tech Crunch and Wall Street Journal.
- Conducted several successful events:
- PhoCusWright receptions for marketing partners and for airline partners, November 2014 (the main travel industry conference)
- Skift Travel Forum conference assistance, October 2014 (highly popular travel industry conference)
5. Critical PR infrastructure and internal communications: Established much-needed PR infrastructure, including PR guidelines for employees, messaging platform for spokespeople, and numerous materials for the press. Fostered a supporting, encouraging working environment, with new, regular employee communications.
As a result of Ms. Zamorska’s efforts, achieved with minimal growth in budget, Fareportal moved up a spot to secure the #3 most popular online travel agency standing, continued to increase its monthly website traffic by 10%, grew its customer base to 180 million unique visitors a year and grew its yearly revenues 20% to $4.5 billion. Fareportal’s CEO credited Ms. Zamorska with achieving more in the first three months than the company achieved in three years, and commended the “dramatic” increase in prominent press coverage, awards and positive chatter surrounding the company that contributed to these record-breaking numbers.
In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated executive since the beginning of 2014.
In eight months since joining Fareportal in September 2014, Ms. Zamorska:
1. Established a global PR infrastructure of both in-house PR professionals and PR agencies across 5 countries, doubling the PR department in size and more than tripling ROI on both existing and new PR agency contracts.
2. Secured 26 top-tier business and industry awards and secured the finalist standing for 6 further awards, for an average of 4 awards per month. This represented a staggering 1300% (13 times!) increase when compared to average 2007-2013 award numbers for the company and more than 55% of the company’s total awards to date, including such prestigious awards as International Service Excellence Awards, MarCom Awards, Stevie Awards, Webby Awards, etc.
3. Secured more than 130 articles, for a triple growth in coverage numbers, including a top profile story on the company CEO in Fortune Magazine and articles in Mashable, Men's Journal, New York Times, Reuters, and Time