Bigfoot PR Campaign Wins Honors for the Humboldt County Visitors Bureau

Bigfoot at the Poppy Awards

Humboldt CVB media specialist Richard Stenger, Visit California board member Dan Gordon, Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta, and Humboldt legend Bigfoot. Photo by Max Whittaker.

Press release from the Humboldt County Visitor’s Bureau:

logo for the Poppy AwardsVisit California honored tourism destinations and attractions across California for excellence in tourism marketing at the organization’s biennial Poppy Awards, held Feb. 11 in San Diego.

The Humboldt County Visitors Bureau is proud to announce that it was selected as the winner in the category for Best Destinations Public Relations Campaign for its Operation Bigfoot, which splashed Humboldt’s favorite hominid across major media outlets and social media platforms, reaching an audience of about 11 million and generating about $1 million of earned media. 

“We are proud of the staff for their hard work in making this happen,” said Marc Rowley, president of the HCVB board and owner of Coho Cottages and China Creek Cottages in Willow Creek. “And that includes Bigfoot, who attended the ceremony.” 

“The Poppy Awards celebrate the best and brightest in California tourism promotion and inspire the industry to continue on a path of innovation and creativity,” said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “This year’s finalists inspired travelers from around the world to live their biggest dreams in California.” 


Beteta, alongside Visit California’s board officers, presented the 2020 Poppy Awards during the 12th annual Visit California Outlook Forum, held Feb. 10-11 at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina and attended by nearly 800 tourism industry leaders. 

Representing the CVB at the awards were Interim Executive Director Julie Benbow and consulting media specialist Richard Stenger, who crafted the campaign. And Bigfoot, who made a surprise appearance on the stage but somehow managed to avoid the cameras

A panel of travel marketing experts selected the winners of the Poppy Awards in 11 categories. 

“Bigfoot placement in the popular Face Swap Live app is brilliant,” said one of the judges. 

Winners included: 

  • Best Overall Brand Identity – less than $1 million: Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau 
  • Best Overall Brand Identity – $1 million to $8 million: Visit Laguna Beach 
  • Best Overall Brand Identity – $8 million and up: Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau 
  • Best Content Marketing Initiative (tie): 

North Lake Tahoe Visitor Bureaus o San Francisco Travel Association 

  • Best Cooperative Marketing (tie): 

San Diego Tourism Authority and San Francisco Travel Association, Mono County Tourism, Mammoth Lakes Tourism, Explore Inyo County and

Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau 

  • Best Digital Campaign: North Lake Tahoe Visitor Bureaus 
  • Best Social Media Campaign: Los Angeles Zoo 
  • Best Influencer Campaign: San Francisco Travel Association 
  • Best Public Relations Campaign – Destination: Humboldt County Visitors Bureau 
  • Best Public Relations Campaign – Business: Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort 

To round out the evening, Beteta awarded the California Dreamer Award, which recognizes an individual who embodies California’s pioneering spirit, to skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.

poppy.award.hawk.stenger.jpg Skateboard legend Tony Hawk, left, and Humboldt CVB media specialist Richard Stenger. Photo by Bob Gilbert.

Skateboard legend Tony Hawk, left, and Humboldt CVB media specialist Richard Stenger. Photo by Bob Gilbert.




  • The real treated, government, jaun

    Bigfeet live,to all you nah Sayers, listen to and listen to the one about the weed farmer, and Steve’s ending about native village in canadah. Anyway, watch out for the little ones,

    Finally remember how one native tribe builds fire in special pattern to ward off bigfeet. Works for them, works for me.

    Lastly” 50 years with Bigfoot” good book on language. How to talk bigfoots.

    Anyway, it pays to prep for an encounter, shad on

  • Congratulation I suppose.

    But it sure would be better in my opinion if there was a REAL reason for tourism.

    I wonder if the estate of Ray Wallace will be financially compensated one day. Humboldt owes that guy a big thanks.

  • When I lived in Cupertino for the past decade, the bureau had the best, in my opinion, public-relations campaign of ANY visitor bureau or chamber of commerce in the state that I saw, and we’d see a lot in the Bay Area. Its commercials were unique and beautiful. I’m sure they made a lot of people decide to take a trip up to the redwoods.

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