Print is Dead? Not so Fast!... The Staying Power of PR

By Lorraine Abelow Founder & President, Abelow PR | June 05, 2016

While the vastness of online content through the variety of channels is key to a PR campaign, the traditional print media environment for news impact is undeniable. An article in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal has undeniable lasting power. The sheer proliferation of industry specific print media one sees in Barnes and Noble and the staying power of a major feature article is a vital component to a successful campaign. While thousands may read an article online, the magic of the printed page still holds the attention like none other. Recent studies by the Magazine Publishers of America bears out the value and substantiates to anyone who wants to sustain a powerful PR program, that print media must be integrated into your program.

So the question emerges: Is Print Dead? It has been buzzing around media circles since the rapid onslaught of social media. Studies reveal it is not at all dead for a variety of reasons. One of them that should be stated at the outset is that the numbers of followers on an Instagram or Facebook feed are not always real. In the hotel and travel field, Instagram has caught on like wildfire. The problem is that while the numbers may be upwards of 100,000, that doesn't hold a candle to that of Conde Nast Traveler for example which has in excess of 1 million print for the magazine, and 2.5 for their online content.

While many businesses have migrated the advertising to the web because of the cost effectiveness, exposure and convenience, print still maintains its stance as a necessary component of the overall marketing strategy, particularly for editorial coverage.

Let's take a minute to examine the advantages print media coverage has over its digital counterparts. And by print media we are including all the relevant categories to a hotel entity or hotel technology company: general interest magazines, trade publications, newspapers and travel media at large.

Tangibility

Holding a magazine in your hands on an airplane, say the inflight Hemispheres on United, or Elite Traveler, if you are on a private jet, is a sensory experience. Studies have shown people spend on average 25 minutes, and upwards of 45 reading a magazine. They are taking the time to delve into the articles of interest, clear of the distractions, which bombard you in the online environment. Having the content in their hands is real, it exists. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that online content has a fleeting characteristic that impacts retention and comprehension. In fact at prestigious universities such as Williams College, students are not permitted to bring computers into the classroom to take notes. And their textbooks are real books, at most universities from NYU to Cornell.

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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.