Hotel Public Relations Explained – How to Jumpstart Your Public Relations Hotel Marketing Plan

Most hotels think of hotel public relations and marketing as afterthoughts. Advertising a hotel is a great first step, but in these days of both out-of-the box thinking and remarkable new ways to approach media, advertising alone won’t do it. A strong, strategic message that encompasses everything from social media to event planning, along with more traditional marketing/advertising such as direct mail, ensures that your hotel or chain will stand out from the crowd.

What is Hotel PR?

Hotel public relations includes a diverse set of activities, such as newsletters and traditional press relations, planning special events, creating trips for travel writers (so they will favorably cover your hotel), and online marketing including developing a social media presence, as well as some unexpected choices, such as community philanthropy.

PR is the unsung hero in the sales/marketing/branding world. Done right, it can establish your credibility with potential new clients, raise awareness of your brand, and cost you much less than traditional advertising. In fact, probably the most cost-effective method available to you is hotel public relations. Creating story seeds, or even full-blown stories, with the modern media means being featured in blogs, on web sites, and with aggregators, as well as in traditional print and online magazines, trade journals, and newspapers.

Think Vegas…

You’ve seen the hotels on the Vegas strip, each more gaudy than the last, or more elegant, or both. How do they stand out in a marketplace so crowded there is literally nothing else? They learn to differentiate themselves (the hook), to tell a story unlike the others (the theme) and to build relationships with the media and their clients (the network).

Hotel public relations starts by determining your PR strategies and allocating a budget. This will include distribution of traditional media releases (which these days include multimedia elements such as photography), developing special events, and creating opportunities to interact with and entertain reporters and travel writers. Skip the clipping service in favor of having your PR rep set up Google Alerts, and know that everything in this area of your business is changing faster than you can keep up. That’s where your PR expert will really earn their money.

Hire Right!

Allocate staff to act as spokespersons to each hotel – a media rep – and start by outsourcing your PR. Hotel public relations must be done properly, by experts and not as an afterthought; you can always change your mind later and bring the position in-house, but the job will require someone who can speak to the media, write a strong well-worded press release with a headline that will make the phone ring, and who will bring existing media relationships to the table, thereby jump-starting your PR with no ramp-up time, which translates into dollars saved for you.

If you can give yourself a year’s window to see the results of your hotel public relations campaign, you’ll note an uptick in awareness and an ongoing strategic base you can draw your customers from, which should also translate into increased sales and perhaps also a welcome reduction in your advertising budget.

Stick with hotel PR and you will notice the long-term benefits of continued awareness and loyalty among customers who demand that they are not just advertised to, and appreciate the more subtle marketing of good PR.

Jobs in Public Relations – 7 Great Reasons to Work in Public Relations

People choose different types of career for different types of reasons. Some choose a career because they have a special talent for that career field. Some on the other hand choose a career in which they have interest and they would like to train and develop themselves to be successful in that career. Some garner the knowledge required for a specific career field and then start out from the entry level to make it actually big in that chosen field. What remains common in all these cases is the fact that people get selective about their careers and they have different aspects on which they base their choice.

• With the advancement and development of the world in general there are many new fields that have emerged in which people can start out which are pretty demanding. However, there are some fields which are common to almost every business, ownership or enterprise and therefore these options are extremely popular and they have extreme number of opportunities in them for people. Public relations jobs are one such category in which people can really try their mettle when they want to make it big as a career professional.

• One of the greatest things about working in the PR department is that it incorporates the knowledge of many departments and a person who starts out in the public relations department would not find it difficult at all to migrate into any other department of their choice.

• Public relations incorporate jobs in advertising because the public relations department has to look about the promotion of the company to the target customer group. This is why they have to make sure that they are working constantly in regards with the media and the target customer group.

• This also helps them to understand about jobs in media So that they can tactfully dealing with any occasion that demands them to be in sync with the media professionals.

• Public relations also incorporate jobs in communications. This is absolutely clear because a person who has to work in tandem with the media has to know all the skills of communications. It would be very easy for people like them to migrate into jobs in communications.

• Public relations entails that the person has to be aware of the skills related to marketing. This is why jobs in marketing are a very popular option for people who have experience in public relations and are looking to develop into higher positions in marketing. Many of the educational qualifications that are required in public relations are quite similar to those that are required in marketing department.

• It is evident that a person who starts out with public relations internships would be able to understand the skills regarding all these fields and therefore it is also a very demanding field.

The professional has to be aware that they have to work in extremely challenging conditions. However, as all the public relations professionals would agree it is the challenge that makes the field all the more interesting.

Marketing Strategy – Creating Value Through Public Relations

Public relations (PR) is one of many keys to successful business management. In addition to conveying value to the public to include the media, PR entails managing internal and external messages, which may enhance or diminish a brand. The following outlines how the public relations piece fits into the big (marketing strategy) picture.

Big Picture Small Pieces

There is a comprehensive approach to owning and operating a business. Finance, accounting, management, marketing, legal, information systems (technology), and economics are tools which all contribute to the success of a venture. By far however, marketing is the most popular business function.

Marketing Defined

The marketplace is comprised of buyers and sellers who want or need a product. In order to bring exact or prospective buyers together with the appropriate sellers, companies must create a healthy marketing mix.

Marketing entails efforts used to create value in the marketplace and obtain a return for that value. The core of marketing centers on four Ps: product (good or service), price, placement, and promotions. However, consumers and business owners alike are most familiar with three of five aspects of promotions (or marketing communications): advertising, public relations, and sales.

All told, marketing campaigns should center on properly priced and placed products. Subsequently, all promotional efforts such as public relations should reinforce or support a company’s short and long-term goals by product. Balance between the creative aspects of marketing (cool, fun, compelling, engaging, eye-catching, and trendy) and science (facts, figures and measurement controls) helps to ensure success.

PPR 101

Despite economic decline, there appears to be no lull in demand for PR professionals or publicists. If anything, demand is likely to increase.

The primary role of a publicist is to manage public affairs (relations) or external communications. In addition to keeping communication going between buyers and sellers, publicists build relationships on a company’s behalf; create and/or maintain a good corporate image and damage control negative publicity. Glamorized for their ability or need to access high profile, celebrity or exclusive events, being a publicist is hard work. In fact, it requires more work than most realize.

Celebrity publicist and owner of Divadends Entertainment, ChiQ Simms, agrees that being a publicist is no easy task “As a publicist, it is my job to ‘earn’ media coverage by supplying information that is factual, interesting, timely and newsworthy,” Simms says. One not-so-glamorous aspect of PR work is the issue of crisis management. According to Simms, a crisis is, “any situation that threatens the integrity or reputation of a brand and its executive team.” Issues such as a legal dispute, theft, an accident or domestic conflict and natural or manmade disasters are crisis, which may devalue a brand or its image. Even how a company acts or fails to respond appropriately to a situation can lead to crisis. Usually, a situation reaches crisis status because of adverse or negative media attention. For this reason, Simms notes that a good publicist will always create a standard crisis communication plan. “It is imperative that a crisis communication plan, a crisis management team and a company spokesperson are all a part of a company’s PR objectives,” Simms advised.

Through her Professional Public Relations (PPR 101) panel-oriented seminar, Simms collaborates with various entertainment media (print, online, TV, radio, bloggers, etc.) and PR professionals to help attendees understand how to garner national publicity as well as how to address crisis. After attending PPR 101, it is immediately clear that publicity is not automatic. It is also clear that PR should be managed independently from all other marketing functions. Says Simms, “I have to conduct countless behind-the-scenes conversations and build relationships that lay the ground work required to get a client’s message to the public-especially the media. It is an ongoing labor-intensive process.”

In addition to conducting research on a variety of media outlets (for example, the 2009 Writer’s Market lists 3,500 publications in the U.S. and Canada who hire journalists), publicists must repeatedly create or revise content and pitch coverage concepts before, during and after news happens. Publicists must also remain in a constant state of prospecting, even while managing a promotional event such as a celebrity red carpet, press junket, radio or TV interview. Idea or lead generation and high conversion of leads to preferred results is what gives each publicist their edge.

Today’s global society, blogging communities and technology (iPhone and GPhone) keep publicists and other marketing professionals on their toes. Easily out-numbered, the proven method for creating value through public relations is having a narrow message and being able to execute a detailed marketing plan.

Perhaps the most important thing to note is that consistency and integrity balanced with timing are vital. With enough lead time, a schedule, a reasonable budget and a detailed brand-driven marketing strategy, which includes a solid communications plan, a publicist can build awareness, drive demand for a product and, subsequently, increase sales.