Bill Gates once famously said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” He definitely had a point. In a competitive industry, where new hotels are launching every day, it’s important to be top of mind for potential guests. It’s also important for attracting event planners, which offers a lucrative revenue stream for your hotel. Here are four effective ideas for hotel PR that can help you boost revenue.
Discover the Best Hotel PR Tactics
1. Establish Bread and Butter Hotel PR
In the industry, “bread and butter PR” is considered the backbone of media relations. This low cost, day-to-day activity ensures a constant dialogue with the press, bloggers, and influencers.
Although in some ways formulaic, the results are powerful. For instance, the simple task of sending weekly hotel news, offers, and promotions to the travel media, can result in an uplift in sales from the publicity it generates. A small mention in the Washington Post, for example, can reach just under half a million people.
Similarly, press releases that outline new offers or events taking place at your hotel, are especially useful. These press releases can reach listings publications, make it into travel round-ups, online media, and magazines. Earned media and editorial influence has been seen as just as effective, if not more than advertising, when it comes to driving sales. It’s a key basic tactic for event planning PR as well.
2. Host Fam Trips At Your Hotel
Fam trips, or “familiarization trips” involve hosting media and influencers at your hotel property in exchange for reviews. Such is the nature of PR, that you can’t always guarantee a good review, but you can certainly influence it by ensuring guests have the best experience possible at your hotel. The credibility of editorial opinion is considered “money can’t buy” endorsement.
Looking for a way to get your hotel’s name out there internationally? Fam trips serve as a great way to publicize your property internationally since guests are often from out of town.
Similarly, hosting evening events or drinks exclusively for those in the hospitality industry can be beneficial in nurturing relationships. Invite key people who book venues, such as event planners, meeting planners, wedding planners, or caterers. You’ll be able to learn about your target market and what they look for in an event venue. If your space can provide what they’re looking for, you’re sure to attract a future booking from your event.
3. Identify and Promote Your Hotel’s Wow
Every year crowds flock to Claridge’s Hotel in London for the unveiling of its decadent Christmas tree. What may have started as a hotel PR stunt, has established itself on the calendar as a must-visit attraction. In Los Angeles, the Standard West Hollywood is famous for a box behind reception which always has someone sleeping in it. It serves no function, other than to create buzz and curiosity. It’s become one of the most successful hotel PR campaigns in recent years. During New York Fashion Week, The Bowery Hotel has become known for its jet-set crowd, as the destination to sip a cocktail.
What is your hotel property’s wow? What kind of creative campaigns can you create around your brand to stay top of mind in your customer’s mind?
4. Make Your Hotel Part of the Conversation
One way of staying relevant, while building your personal profile, is to act as a company spokesperson. Your PR team should be able to organize these, often once or twice a year.
There are often trade events and round tables where industry spokespeople share their point of view. Your PR should provide key messages and possibly a presentation. This is a great way to get your key messages out, network and build relationships with trade partners. This is especially important, as they often have links with corporates, and can help boost bookings by advocating your hotel to clients.
These hotel PR ideas are about creating newsworthy content, to keep your brand top of mind with potential customers, and to ultimately drive hotel sales. Now that you have a few ideas, decide whether you need to hire a hotel public relations firm, or whether you want to pursue PR internally.
Which PR ideas have proven successful in generating revenue for you? Send us a tweet!