Maximizing Press that Aligns with Sales and Marketing Objectives

By Didi Lutz President, Didi Lutz PR | May 06, 2010

If PR does not enhance any other outreach effort in the hotel then it is not on target. Period.

So many times I have heard from clients that previous pr campaigns have totally missed the mark on what the hotel was trying to accomplish, whether it was showcasing a renovation, introducing a new image, expanding audiences or recovering from a crisis.

Public relations campaigns can be damaging as much as they can be successful if they aren't planned to the last detail. By details, I don't necessarily mean holding countless of fruitless meetings that last for hours with the hotel management, but rather using time productively by taking what was said in a meeting to produce pure public relations results that will align with the overall objectives of the hotel.

I have put together some pointers and suggestions about creating a public relations plan that will prove to be successful!

  • Listen, listen, listen carefully. When in meetings with the hotel management, it is important to listen to the executive staff, in particular, to the General Manager and the Sales and Marketing department head. They will pose the "problem" that requires public relations assistance. Listen closely as they outline what the issues are according to them and put those comments into a communications/pr prospective.

  • Ask questions. Throughout my career, I have always believed that it is not about providing the right answers, but asking the right questions. This not only ensures that you're understanding what is being presented to you, but asking questions also engages the hotel management into a two-way line of communication. By asking questions, you can also find out what the hotel is looking to accomplish. For example, if the Sales and Marketing Director says, "Our goal in 2006 is to reach Generation X-ers because our research shows that it is a good fit for us." In response, ask an open-ended question that probes for more information: "How do you feel about reaching to this audience through lifestyle magazines that would appeal to them?"

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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.