About Gillies & Zaiser

Gillies and Zaiser specializes in providing public relations services to all major components of the travel and tourism industry. Our depth of knowledge and experience includes working with convention and visitors bureaus, state tourism offices, regional and national tourism alliances, cruise lines of all sizes, hotels and resorts, spas, theme parks and zoos, museums and other attractions, restaurants and 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, receptions and marketplaces. Other specialties include marketing-based public relations, content writing, brand-awareness programs, product launches and relaunches, photo and video shoots, special events, crisis communication 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 always respond promptly – to our clients and to our media partners.

Here we are with Dame Helen Mirren and Scenic founder Glen Moroney at the christening of the Scenic Eclipse in NYC. GZPR planned, organized and ran the christening event, and Dame Mirren was the ship’s proud Godmother.

Elliot Gillies


Elliot spent 20+ successful years in management operations, mostly as a turnaround specialist, in a variety of industries before joining Gillies and Zaiser. Since joining he 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 guides and works alongside the staff to create 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 and secretary as well as chairing several very successful international conventions. His background in management operations offers our clients the added depth of knowing how best to coordinate and manage multiple programs.

Lauren Frye

Vice President

Lauren has more than 15 years experience in hospitality and travel public relations under her belt, including her most recent gig as Public Relations Specialist for Bald Head Island, a family-friendly resort destination in Southeastern North Carolina. In that role, Lauren secured regional and national coverage for the island in outlets such as USA Today, The Boston Globe, Coastal Living, TravelChannel.com and Forbes.com. Lauren holds her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from UNCW, which translates on the job to strong press releases and pitches that garner lots of media attention. Lauren is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) and the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Travel and Tourism Section.

Ryan Smith

Senior Account Executive

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.

Jeanne Gillies

Account Relationship Manager

Jeanne has spent more than 25 years managing corporate finances for several major US corporations. She has also successfully started and run her own companies in a variety of industries. Jeanne brings both her financial and management expertise to Gillies and Zaiser and her zeal for developing new ventures. Her love of new experiences and people has brought her into the world of travel, where she promotes destinations and experiences. For the past two years, Jeanne has worked with the media, promoting and hosting press trips, responding to queries, promoting brands, and developing promotional opportunities for other Gillies and Zaiser clients. Jeanne holds an MBA Finance, MS in Mathematics Education and MA in Educational Leadership.