Hotel Public Relations Explained – How to Jumpstart Your Public Relations Hotel Marketing Plan

Most hotels think of hotel public relations and marketing as afterthoughts. Advertising a hotel is a great first step, but in these days of both out-of-the box thinking and remarkable new ways to approach media, advertising alone won’t do it. A strong, strategic message that encompasses everything from social media to event planning, along with more traditional marketing/advertising such as direct mail, ensures that your hotel or chain will stand out from the crowd.

What is Hotel PR?

Hotel public relations includes a diverse set of activities, such as newsletters and traditional press relations, planning special events, creating trips for travel writers (so they will favorably cover your hotel), and online marketing including developing a social media presence, as well as some unexpected choices, such as community philanthropy.

PR is the unsung hero in the sales/marketing/branding world. Done right, it can establish your credibility with potential new clients, raise awareness of your brand, and cost you much less than traditional advertising. In fact, probably the most cost-effective method available to you is hotel public relations. Creating story seeds, or even full-blown stories, with the modern media means being featured in blogs, on web sites, and with aggregators, as well as in traditional print and online magazines, trade journals, and newspapers.

Think Vegas…

You’ve seen the hotels on the Vegas strip, each more gaudy than the last, or more elegant, or both. How do they stand out in a marketplace so crowded there is literally nothing else? They learn to differentiate themselves (the hook), to tell a story unlike the others (the theme) and to build relationships with the media and their clients (the network).

Hotel public relations starts by determining your PR strategies and allocating a budget. This will include distribution of traditional media releases (which these days include multimedia elements such as photography), developing special events, and creating opportunities to interact with and entertain reporters and travel writers. Skip the clipping service in favor of having your PR rep set up Google Alerts, and know that everything in this area of your business is changing faster than you can keep up. That’s where your PR expert will really earn their money.

Hire Right!

Allocate staff to act as spokespersons to each hotel – a media rep – and start by outsourcing your PR. Hotel public relations must be done properly, by experts and not as an afterthought; you can always change your mind later and bring the position in-house, but the job will require someone who can speak to the media, write a strong well-worded press release with a headline that will make the phone ring, and who will bring existing media relationships to the table, thereby jump-starting your PR with no ramp-up time, which translates into dollars saved for you.

If you can give yourself a year’s window to see the results of your hotel public relations campaign, you’ll note an uptick in awareness and an ongoing strategic base you can draw your customers from, which should also translate into increased sales and perhaps also a welcome reduction in your advertising budget.

Stick with hotel PR and you will notice the long-term benefits of continued awareness and loyalty among customers who demand that they are not just advertised to, and appreciate the more subtle marketing of good PR.

What Kind of Things Can a Public Relations Firm Do For Your Corporate Business?

A company’s success can hinge on the relationship they have with the public and how they are perceived in the media. Some companies choose to try and handle all of these matters from the inside with their own PR department but others feel the need to enlist an outside service to ensure that all matters of public view and perception are handled by highly trained professionals.

A good public relations firm can take your businesses success to levels you never even imagined, but the question on many CEO’s minds remains, “Will the results obtained from enlisting an outside PR firm offset the cost we have to pay for the services?”

What can a PR firm do for You?

Establish Relationships

The key to success in any business is developing and maintaining solid relationships, not just with your clients, but with investors, vendors and employees. Most of the time an in house PR department can easily grow and maintain the relationships with customers and vendors, but it gets much more difficult for an inside department to handle relationships with vendors and especially other employees.

An outside firm can readily handle all of these relationships impartially, with only the company’s best interests in mind. This almost makes the company’s investment in an outside firm worth it without even considering all of the other positives they can offer – happy employees and investors make a much more productive work place and in turn can really drive the profits and, therefore, the success of the business.

Save you Money

It may not look like it at the outset, because the initial investment of enlisting a public relations firm can be reasonably high, but hiring an outside firm to handle all of your public relations can save your corporation a good deal of money in the long run.

Without a PR firm to do at least some of the work involved in overall company public relations, your corporation would need (depending on the size of the company) at the very least one, most likely several, full time employees. The hourly wage paid to these full time employees may seem like peanuts when compared to the dollars that would be paid out to a public relations firm, but when you factor in the benefits, paid holidays, paid vacations and overall annual salaries of these employees your corporation could end up saving thousands and thousands of dollars a year by hiring an outside public relations firm.

You can use the services of a public relations firm when you need them, and forego the services when you don’t. It’s not as if a member of the firm will be in your office collecting a paycheck – you pay for the services that you use and nothing more.

Diversity

A good public relations firm can often offer you much more than what used to be considered the basics of good PR. Many public relations firms today can offer everything your PR department and your marketing and advertising departments can do and more.

By enlisting the services of a good, reputable public relations firm you can effectively turn your own office into a lean and mean machine. You won’t have to cross train employees to take on roles that they are not comfortable or experienced with – your sales force won’t have to be concerned with any phase of marketing or advertisement. Your valuable sales staff can get focused on what they were trained to do – sell, while a PR firm takes care of developing the relationships and public perceptions.

Emergency Services

A public relations firm can bail you out of trouble in the event of a PR emergency. PR firm representatives are trained to handle all types of scandals or problems that crop up and can affect your corporation’s image in the public eye. Press releases can be quickly written and submitted and press conferences can be put together in short order to ensure that your company keeps its positive reputation with all of your current and potential clients, investors and employees.

Whether you decide to enlist an outside public relations firm to handle any or all of your company’s PR or marketing, solid relationships are the cornerstone of your company’s success. If you don’t have a rock solid PR department, than hiring a public relations firm could be the best decision for your company’s future.

Public Relations – What, How, Who?

Public Relations Definitions

“What is Public Relations?” This question gets asked dozens of times daily. A simple question it is, yet it has managed to acquire several definitions throughout the world. Essentially, Public Relations (PR) deals with publicizing the image, reputation, intentions or purposes of organizations, groups and individuals in the best possible way – regardless of the actuality of the situation. In other words, the primary objective of PR is this – the represented body or individual must “come up smelling like roses”. There has been growing concerns that the purpose of public relations is merely to spin the truth of a matter. While this perception is understandable, it arises from the misunderstandings about the role of public relations. The fact that PR agents provide representation for an organization, does not mean they have the authorization to lie on that organization’s behalf. It means however, that PR professionals have the full responsibility of highlighting the positive aspects and benefits of their respective organizations, in the context of that representation.

Other Definitions:

– Public Relations can also be defined as the management of understanding and communications between organizations/individuals and the wider society through various media platforms. It bridges the gap between the two thereby ensuring mutual adaptability and coexistence.

– Public Relations is a discipline in business that measures public perception of and attitude towards an organization or individual and thereby seeks ways to secure its trust and acceptance. It examines the programs and policies of the respective organization and highlights their benefits and goodwill that serves public interests.

As such, Public Relations has developed into diverse areas of specialization so as to focus on specific functions. There are Marketing and Advertising PR, Government PR, Financial PR, Consumer PR (not to be confused with marketing), Industry PR and others. They implement various information technologies (IT) and techniques such as Social Media and Networking; Press Releases; relating directly with journalist among others measures, in an effort to get their messages across. Marketing and Advertising PR, in particular, are even more likely to implement such media and techniques in their campaign strategy. With new forms of IT being introduced daily, they seize every opportunity to reach as many of their niche audience as possible.

With that said, PR professionals are expected to abide by certain Code of Ethics and Conduct that are set in place. This is for the purpose of regulating their activities and eliminating possibilities of misinformation to the general public. As alluded to before, the instances of spinning an issue is also reduced by these measures as Public Relations professionals are held accountable for their actions and any misleading information that they may issue.