NEWH - November 2004 - (Page 29)

what you need to maximize publicity by Nancy Trent President, Trent & Company Public Relations The first question one should ask when considering a public relations program is “What are your objectives and goals?” In other words, what is it that you would like the media to be saying about you and your company? How would you like the general public (your potential customer) to perceive your product and services? To this end, there are many cost-effective ways to achieve favorable media exposure. But it will take time, patience, and most of all, persistence. However, when you start to reap the benefits of great publicity, you’ll see your room occupancy rate increase, your overall sales increase, and your property and products more widely known than before. Look inside your organization to come up with story ideas and angles that will help plug its message into a variety of media. Following are a number of tips that will help launch or re-launch your company in the eyes of the media: Know your audience: Where do your clients live? What are their professions? Professionals read business publications, travelers read destination publications, and most people read their local daily and weekly newspapers. Those are the publications you need to target. Take advantage of a news story about overworked women in a business publication to publicize your new executive package. Knowing your audience and the media it reads, watches and listens to is fundamental for any PR campaign. Target media in three categories: consumer, business, and trade. Each has a wide array of publications focusing on general interest, travel, design, lifestyle, shelter, business. Developing a nose for news: Know what’s publicizable about your property or product. Finding a story idea that will intrigue an editor and approaching him or her with it is the trick. Always let the media know about new products and program launches set to change the protocol. This is news and the media need news. Draw on the expertise of your employees and use their ideas to create media alerts on a variety of topics. Creating good copy is one way to grab the media’s attention. Piggybacking onto major news events with a poll or survey is a timely and effective publicity tactic. Be a trend spotter by watching for growing demands. If you notice guests making requests for new services, a change in your usual demographic or a request for gift certificates, these may be trends. Your sales staff and customer service reps are great sources for this information, and they will appreciate being involved in the PR process. Press kits don’t have to take you to the cleaners. Editors receive scores of press kits a week. Though attractive press kits get attention, they don’t need to be expensive. A quality press kit provides necessary information that an editor will need. This includes facts about your brand, industry statistics, interesting story ideas, spokesperson profiles, service descriptions, a brochure, photos, and any other timely or newsworthy information. A good press release is straightforward, informative and reflects the image of your brand. If You Got It, Flaunt It: Photography can be the deciding factor on whether your story gets included in an article. Often, editors choose to feature the property with great photography over the one with none. Back up story ideas with visuals and interior and exterior photos, rooms, products, etc. Have high-resolution (300 dpi) digital photography available if possible. Find a photographer, who specializes in magazine photography and be sure to secure photography rights. Photographers own their work and will require that they be credited, whenever the images are published. Buying the rights is a long-term and worthwhile investment. Getting Your 15 minutes: It takes a good spokesperson to get your brand exposed. It’s best to have several experts available for interviews. Each spokesperson should be ready with quotable quotes before doing an interview. A good interview may make you a source for journalists who will be calling you for future stories. There is media training available to help develop impressive interviewing skills. For the interview to be included in the story, aid the process with your quality press materials and photography. Have your PR agency or on-site manager field media calls. Respond to a journalist’s request as fast as possible to avoid missing an opportunity. 29

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - November 2004

NEWH - November 2004
Letter From the President
Outgoing Editor
Hospitality News
Maintaining a Sense of Place...
Design-Related Resources Shine Brightly at 2004 IH/M&RS
Beds in Banks
The Fullerton Singapore Hotel
Woman of the Year - Lyndall De Marco
The Glasshouse Hotel, Edinburgh Scotland
What’s in a Brand Name
What You Need to Maximize Publicity
Coming Events
Chapter News and Events
Embrace Adaptive Re-Use Projects
NEWH UK Supports Serious Fun at Barretstown
IH/M&RS Gold Key Awards

NEWH - November 2004