Online Public Relations Strategies for Your Hotel
By Cindy Woudenberg Founder, LuCorp Marketing | November 04, 2012
If you haven't developed an aggressive Public Relations strategy for your properties, you are missing out on one of the most effective ways to reach new guests and build your business. Find out how to leverage the power of PR, using online distribution services and services that will have news sources coming to you for stories, and use your own website to generate buzz for your properties. PR is the most cost-effective way to increase your online presence, boost your credibility as an industry expert, and reach your desired target markets.
An effective public relations strategy is always a key factor in building a successful hotel or resort business, especially in today's competitive marketplace and challenging economy. Whether you're developing a public relations campaign for a new property or working to expand your strategy for existing properties, you understand that PR is essential in the hotel industry. It is a key component of constructing credibility and spreading awareness in the most economic way possible.
PR gives the perception that your company is active and constantly moving forward. Occasional press releases are a great way to spread public awareness on any related events happening with your company overall, or for each specific property. They can also be helpful if there is ever the need to manage a crisis happening within your industry. PR tends to be much more effective than other forms of marketing communications like advertising, especially when trying to relay an important message. You can publish press releases on your own website on your "news" or "press" page, or on your blog. This adds fresh, relevant content to your site on a regular basis, which helps boost your search engine ranking.
Working with a Public Relations professional, a professional writer or your own staff, it's key to develop well-written material that is relevant to your business. This content can not only be used to draw in new customers, but can help establish your company or property's credibility. Determining a target market and choosing appropriate and interesting topics for that market will give you a leg up in attracting new clients to your properties. Press releases are one part of this strategy, but articles and blog posts are additional components that round out your PR plan. Public Relations professionals should be able to generate ideas for articles, or use your team to brainstorm creative angles to highlight your property.
Once you have a strategy in place for developing targeted content and press releases when appropriate, there are numerous online press distribution services that you can use for your press releases and articles. These services have amassed thousands of media sources for mass distributions, as well as allowing you to choose more targeted media lists based on industry, targeted demographics, topic, or location.
For example, if you've got a property in Hawaii that has been recently renovated and perhaps has some new "green features", you would want to target several key types of media outlets. Certainly you'd target travel journalists and publications, local news sources, design publications, hotel industry publications, sustainable/green living sources, etc. If you've recently gone "pet friendly" at you property, you would naturally want to reach out to the huge number of pet-related media outlets to share your news.