Return on Relationships is the New ROI
By Didi Lutz President, Didi Lutz PR | April 24, 2011
Measuring campaigns is one of the most important elements in evaluating a successful PR strategy. Your hotel should have a full social media presence at this point, and hopefully it has, so measuring PR and marketing campaigns now rely on a very different scale than before.
While previously we determined the success of media relations campaign by measuring column inches, photo inclusion, number of quotes, times the hotel was mentioned, and where the article was positioned in terms of layout, all of this has changed in the social media era. The heart of ROI for PR lies in the ROR - otherwise known as return on relationships.
ROI is the first thing hotel will measure in the world of PR these days, and how that success is defined mainly relies on the understanding the hotel executive team and PR team have. With PR evolving through social media and digital networks, is it really about ROI or ROR?
Return on Relationships is a term that has always been around in traditional PR, but has only recently taken on such a strong measurement role with the emergence of the social media monsters, from FB, Twitter, LinkedIn and the endless number of bloggers online. The idea is that bloggers and digital influencers, i.e., TripAdvisor reviewers, travel bloggers, Zagat members - anyone who has an account in outlets that impact your hotel's reputation - have an opinion and are empowered to speak up through social media.
Citizen journalism as it's generally referenced, where anyone can write anything, is both scary and effective at the same time. The core of ROR is establishing and managing relationships with the right influencers to position your hotel in the most strategic way possible. How is this done in a universe of giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn?
My answer is: Use traditional PR methods but apply today's technology to execute your strategy. The idea is to continue to build relationships and secure placements for your hotel, and garner positive reviews. But instead, your tactics will have to change. Bloggers should be treated like journalists. Bloggers have a faster impact, and far more viral legs than print publications. Learn to understand the difference between media outlets, and respect them for what they are. Embrace and nurture those relationships that make sense and add value to your property.