Measuring Public Relations Success - A Guide to Understanding the Return-on-Investment

By Gini Dietrich Founder & CEO, Arment Dietrich Inc. | February 16, 2010

Raising awareness of and gaining additional exposure for your property is one thing. Being able to prove the efforts behind such an increase in market visibility and occupancy is a direct result of a public relations campaign is quite another. The difference lies in identifying and tracking the effect of a public relations campaign on your business, and the biggest factor is measurement.

Public relations is a powerful tool in the hospitality industry. From establishing or repositioning a brand to drawing attention to a hotel opening or the addition of a new amenity, public relations can be one of the most value and credible communications tools around. Not only can a well-executed public relations program raise awareness, but it also can be a highly influential force with current and potential guests. These efforts contribute to and ensure the success of a hotel.

The first step in this process, however, is for hoteliers to understand what they should expect in terms of return-on-investment (ROI) for a public relations campaign. There was a time when displaying placements was enough to demonstrate the effectiveness of a public relations campaign. The old adage of "any publicity is good publicity," however, went out the window a long, long time ago - with good reason, too; it just is not sound business.

The key to understanding the real ROI for a public relations program lies in establishing mutually agreed upon, quantifiable results. The bottom line is king and placing monetary values and concrete measurements against a public relations campaign is influential for an hotelier. Public relations professionals need to translate successes into a form that every hotelier understands, appreciates, and values.

One of the best ways for public relations practitioners to demonstrate the legitimacy of their efforts is to calculate a current advertising equivalency for each placement. Very simply put, advertising equivalency is the amount of money a client would pay to place an advertisement in the media outlet in which a story runs.

For example, let's say a story runs in a local paper with an advertising rate of $100 per column inch. Say the story spans three columns and is 10 inches long, for 30 column inches. Multiplying this number by 100 would result an advertising equivalency of $3,000. Similarly, if a story airs on radio or television station for 30 seconds, the advertising equivalency equals the cost of running an advertisement for 30 seconds during that same broadcast.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Joseph Ricci
Paul van Meerendonk
Jane Segerberg
Arturo Garcia Rosa
Daniel Chao
Benjamin Jost
Vanessa Horwell
John Tess
William A. Brewer III
Julie Lepp
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.