Travel PR veterans Alexandra Avila and Julie Leventhal are behind REYA Communications, a boutique communications agency supporting luxury travel brands. Driven by the duo’s commitment to conservation and sustainability, REYA represents global travel clients that provide top guest experiences while serving their communities and environments. The young agency has already been recognized for excellence, with Avila named among the PR News’ Top Women in PR 2019. REYA recently expanded to serve the UK with PR services.
Notable long-term clients
Sheldon Chalet (Alaska), Casa di Langa (Italy), Volcanoes Safaris (Rwanda & Uganda), Sonnenalp Hotel (Colorado), Tordrillo Mountain Lodge (Alaska), Gangtey Lodge (Bhutan), Delfin Amazon Cruises (Peru), Inca Rail (Peru)
Recent client wins
Cashel Palace (Ireland), Knapp Ranch (Colorado), Go2Africa (Africa), Four Hundred x Design (New York), MET Hotel (Bolivia)
What are you most proud of as a leader?
When the going got tough, and it got tough, friends recommended we expand from our niche in PR, which is servicing travel brands committed to conservation, sustainability and social impact, and take on larger retainers with corporate accounts. Many of our boutique clients had to pause their retainers as borders remained closed and tourism stalled. I'm most proud that we kept to our niche market and stepped in to work pro bono. I'm proud that even when we worked for free, our passion for these projects were there to see our clients through those tough months. It meant that we truly made the right decision in servicing this niche underserved market, and that our team is aligned with that vision. You need that passion in your clients to have longevity in any client service field.
Is there a big industry trend you’re backing in terms of your agency offering, and why do you think this area will continue to grow and influence the PR practice?
I'm not sure it's "big" yet in our industry, but we're doubling down regardless in digitizing the way we work internally and with the media. I came into PR with a digital background, and saw so many inefficiencies when there are so many existing systems and digital tools that could greatly help agencies. I saw gaps in PR strategies that didn't integrate with digital marketing or understand that world. At REYA we see PR as the tide that raises all ships in digital. Good PR will boost your direct, organic, social and of course referral traffic. Good PR will improve your domain authority and Google search page position. Good PR will grow your social media following. But more importantly this approach allows small agencies to scale through efficiencies. By adopting the Inbound Marketing strategy, which essentially brings the media to you, rather than you to them, you're able to produce a lot more with less manpower. Let's face it, retainers are not going to magically increase. With more publicists than ever in the market, rates are getting competitive, and as media relations are nurtured virtually, your NYC or LA address is no longer a premium.