Using Holidays to Generate Awareness of Your Property

By LeJane Carson Principal, Carson Stoga Communications | February 13, 2010

Reporters are always looking for news pegs, and holidays or annual events provide just the opportunity to write about your property. Start at the beginning of the year and determine each monthly holiday and consider how your property might be a good "fit" with that holiday.

Travel writers aren't the only ones interested in writing about hotels. Restaurant and food writers, as well as family and lifestyle reporters are all good sources to keep in touch with. They don't receive as much information from hotels as travel reporters and are sometimes looking for something to add to a story on those not-so-popular holidays they are covering.

Coordinate a planning session NOW with your public relations firm, if you have one; if you don't; gather a group of creative people from your staff that would be up for an afternoon brainstorming session. Quite often, the most creative people are the ones you'd least expect. Draw from departments like accounting, PBX and convention services. You will be pleasantly surprised at the ideas that come from staff members who do not typically get the opportunity to be involved with more creative activities.

Grab a calendar and start through the year. Don't wait until you have a need month to panic and develop an activity or package at the last minute, as it will be destined to fail. Most daily newspaper reporters work weeks in advance and national monthly publications prepare two to three, sometimes even six months in advance. Keep that in mind if you are hoping to gain coverage in the media.

January

Let's take January, while everyone is recuperating from the Christmas season. The end of January or early February is that once-a-year event when everyone is a football fan...Super Bowl Sunday.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.