Calling All Hotels! Hosting a Television Broadcast Visit

By Didi Lutz President, Didi Lutz PR | October 28, 2008

From my experience, the saying "any publicity is great publicity" does not hold true. Unless you want your hotel to be at the mercy of the media, investing in strategic public relations is the best way to go.

We have elaborated on the subject of public relations quite extensively over the last three years, and discussed the best ways to tailor a plan that fits your property, how to protect against potential crises, how to host events, and of course we have talked about ways to choose the best professional to represent your hotel and company.

But what about broadcast PR? While I think that for long term branding purposes print placements may work better, depending on your property, there is quite a lot that can be accomplished with a television spot. Radio is not very effective with hotels, unless you are advertising a special promotion or hosting a contest of some sort, as it lacks the complete visual that TV can accomplish.

With television you also get the opportunity to reach a broad audience, and even tailor the placement to a specific demographic. For instance, if your hotel makes it in a morning show it can reach pretty much every type of person out there.

But how do you make it on these shows? Does your hotel have what it takes? Can your public relations professionals leverage your property's newsworthy angles and present them in the best way to the TV producers? And how do you manage TV crews that may appear unexpectedly to your doorstep?

Great TV segments can come from some big news as a hotel opening, a new restaurant located in a hotel, a new GM, a costly renovation, or something simpler as a charity event hosted in the hotel, a unique package offered or even a very rare item available on your room service menu. Whatever the case, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.