New Orleans & Company Announces Staff Promotion and Addition

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans & Company, the largest, private economic development corporation in Louisiana, has strengthened its 1,100-member marketing organization with the promotion of Tara Letort to the 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 media coverage for groups in town.

Letort’s new role will 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.

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“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,” said Kristian Sonnier, vice president of public relations and communications for New Orleans & Company.

“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,” he continued. “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,”

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.

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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, Florida. She holds a B.A. in communications from the University of Alabama.

As a communications and marketing manager, New Orleans & Company’s newest employee, Kristen Loflin Loflin, is responsible for promoting New Orleans through pitching, organizing press trips and coordinating and managing marketing assets for New Orleans & Company’s communication channels. Loflin will also 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.

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New Orleans & Company is based in New Orleans but runs 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.

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