Hotel Public Relations: Rethinking Outdated Media Tactics

By Jennifer Nagy President, jlnpr | October 09, 2011

When most people think about the public relations profession, they think of two things: spin and propaganda. Sometimes, people will even go so far as to think that public relations professionals are nothing more than paid mouthpieces with questionable morality. Being a PR person, I definitely object to this incorrect portrayal of my beloved career choice. With that being said, I definitely understand where people get this misconception.

The first PR people, like the 'Father of Spin' Edward Bernays, used much different tools than the ones that I employ every day in promoting and publicizing my clients. In the early years of PR, propaganda – defined by Edward Bernays as "the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses" - was a commonly used tool. In the past, publicists were viewed as deceptive manipulators, whereas today, PR people are embraced by journalists as a credible, trustworthy source of information.

This change in perception has been greatly influenced by the continual update of the beliefs, actions and strategies used by professionals in the field. As such, it's important for the industry to continue moving forward as the world of media and technology changes, updating yesterday's strategies and tactics to ensure that we, as an industry, are most effective at spreading the word for our clients, our companies or our brands.

So to help you to update your PR strategies, here are three ways that you can rethink your outdated hotel marketing and media strategies and become more effective at generating consumer interest and inspiring action (i.e. bookings!).

Outdated tactic: The press release

I know that you're probably reading this wondering: "What? But the press release is the basic tool in every PR person's arsenal. Without the press release, how am I going to inform media about my property's news?"

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.