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.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.