What Defines Hotel Public Relations?
By Doug Luciani Chief Associate, PRofit from PR - Public Relations & Marketing | October 2008
Public relations is more than just media relations efforts. There are other tactics and strategies that can be implemented to reach your target audience.
Ask a roomful of professionals to define Public Relations and you'll receive a number of different answers, and most of them would be a narrow representation of the entire PR picture. Public Relations is not just publicity, working with journalists, or community events. It is about building relationships with the bottom line to a hotel's balance sheet - its customers. Today, getting the consumer's attention to tell them about your property is not easy.
Research abounds on the decline of paid advertising effectiveness. Savvy consumers find ads to be less credible. Furthermore, new tools allow them to remove these intrusions from their daily lives: Tivo, Do Not Call lists, e-mail spam filters, pop-up blockers, just to name a few.
Today's consumers respond to dialogue, relationships, interactions, and honest communications. Businesses in any industry, including hospitality, need to implement and execute integrated marketing campaigns. More and more, these campaigns find public relations taking the lead because PR has always been about relationships with multiple audiences.
There are many tactics in the public relations tool box. Media relations, or publicity, is usually the first that comes to mind, followed by special events. However, the list doesn't end there. Newsletters, consumer promotions, and crisis communications should also be included. New technologies and mediums include blogs, vlogs, podcasts and vodcasts. On a broader level, PR is evolving into content development that helps a business create experiential marketing concepts for consumers.
While most people are familiar with media relations and special events, it's still appropriate to quickly cover what is involved. Media relations, of course, involves building relationships with journalists. The end goal is to get your hotel included in travel articles, business articles, etc. This media coverage creates a third-party endorsement of your property. Regardless of the size of your property, you probably have a story that will be of interest to the press. However, when dealing with the media you need a newsworthy story. Special events include grand openings, ground breaking ceremonies, charity events, or even a media stunt (think Hollywood movie premieres).