About Us

Gillies and Zaiser specializes in providing public relations services to all major components of the travel industry. Our depth of knowledge and experience includes working with convention and visitors bureaus; state tourism offices; regional and national tourism alliances; cruise lines; hotels and resorts; spas; golf and tennis facilities; theme parks; zoos; museums and other attractions; historic sites; public gardens; theaters and other cultural venues; restaurants; outdoor recreation facilities; shopping centers; and tour operators.

Our agency is known for its expertise in media relations – from writing and distributing press releases that get noticed to arranging and conducting individual and group press trips, media tours, media receptions and media marketplaces. Other capabilities include marketing-based public relations, brand-awareness programs, product launches and relaunches, photo and video shoots, special events, and promotional and marketing partnerships.

All accounts receive hands-on supervision from a team of seasoned professionals who tailor their actions to each client’s needs. We respond promptly – to our clients and to our media partners.

Elliot Gillies, President, has represented all facets of travel public relations, including hotel groups, hotel marketing companies, country inns, resort hotels, cruise lines, tour operators and destinations. Working largely with clients with limited budgets, Elliot has created compelling press releases and highly productive press trips as the primary tools for building awareness among consumers, travel agents and group sources, enhanced with media events and attendance at media functions as he fosters strong relationships with productive press. Elliot is active in the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), having served as the Society’s treasurer; chair of professional development and sponsors in Chile and Switzerland; co-chair for the 2009 Guadalajara convention; convention sites chair (2010-2013); and associate chair for the 2011 New Zealand convention.

Lauren Frye, Senior Account Executive, has more than 10 years experience in hospitality and travel public relations under her belt, including her most recent gig as PR lead for Bald Head Island, a family-friendly resort destination in Southeastern North Carolina. In that role, Lauren secured regional and national coverage for the resort in outlets such as USA Today, The Boston Globe, Coastal Living, TravelChannel.com and Forbes.com. Lauren holds her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, which translates to strong press releases and pitches that garner lots of media attention. Lauren is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Travel and Tourism Section.

Ryan Smith boasts more than 15 years working for some of the best convention and visitors bureaus in the country where she’s strived to develop unique and creative story ideas for destinations she is passionate about. From the charm of Charleston, to the “live the dream” mentality of Nashville and the hospitable-but-smart and savvy attitude of Raleigh, promoting destinations is what has fueled her excitement for the places she’s called home. Most recently as Director of Communications for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, a role she’s held since 2007, Ryan has helped Raleigh’s visibility and reputation rise securing major coverage with many national media outlets. A graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Public Relations, she is a member of PRSA Travel & Tourism section and Society of American Travel Writers.