Despite the creation of new marketing tactics, there is substantial proof that public relations (PR) still drives hotel bookings. If a journalist visits, covers your property, and writes about it in a positive, unbiased way, it makes just as much – and often far more – impact than a social media review.
Instead, hoteliers should focus on telling a story that allows their property to shine. Integrating modern and traditional PR methods, hoteliers should share what makes their properties unique to stimulate direct bookings. Traditional PR is a perfect way to set the tone and tell your controlled story in as many ways as possible.
Urlike Birner, Vice President of Communications, EAME, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, commented: “The value of editorial press coverage- whether traditional print articles, online features or blog coverage-cannot be underestimated and continues to be very important for us. There is a huge value for us in having our story told by a credible travel, business, lifestyle, beauty, food or trade writer.”
PR success is not limited to large or flagged properties. Boutique hotels, such as Tudor Farmhouse Hotel & Restaurant in Gloucestershire, U.K., have found that marketing their property as a destination has been very success for them. Colin Fell, the owner of the hotel, said: “When using OTAs, it can be difficult to communicate your message, the things that make you different. That can be lost. We’re trying to really increase our presence across the board with PR – getting out a consistent message and trying to get a sense of place across in everything we do.”
It is quintessential to integrate traditional PR methods with modern technology so that you broadcast your message and maximize your visibility. “Traditional PR remains an important part of hotel media activity, and it is important to ensure that the two work in tandem in order to achieve success and meeting objectives,” says Katrina Jones, VP of Corporate Communications, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide Holdings.
To secure the best possible results and increase direct sales, hoteliers should communicate to media what makes their properties unique, using both strong key messages that create emotions and beautiful images. Always consider the overall audience that you are trying to reach; for most hotels, their audience will be potential guests, NOT journalists. Journalists are the gatekeepers who determine which messages reach the end-user, so always write your PR pitches with the end-user in mind. By doing so, journalists will recognize the newsworthiness of the topic and will decide to cover your story and your property.
If you need help with your property’s PR strategy, we’d love to help! We can use our extensive experience in the travel industry and strong relationships with top travel journalists worldwide to improve your property’s visibility to consumers, in an effort to stimulate direct bookings. For any new PR retainer contract of six months or more, you will get your first month for free! This offer is valid for a limited time only, so contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today!