At Hotelintel.co’s 5th annual PR Forum, a distinguished panel of media industry professionals shared with hoteliers, hotel sales and marketing teams and PR professionals the best ways of getting their message out to their audiences, as well as why some press releases will never see the electronic light of day.
Here are the top takeaways from the forum - this, according to our panel is how to stack the odds in your favour as a hotel in ensuring that your message reaches their audiences:
Know the Media
Before you go and spam all your media contacts with generic news, spend a few minutes learning who your media contacts are first. Are they B2B, B2C or B2B2C? You can create tags accordingly for these lists and then strategically target your PR mailouts accordingly. Spamming media contacts with generic news that’s irrelevant to them may well help them develop a bad instinctive ‘delete’ trigger reaction whenever they see emails that have been sent from your address in true ‘boy who cried wolf’ style. It would be tragic if the next time when something truly important and newsworthy comes up, your efforts to communicate it with the media, just end up in spam-box purgatory.
One may think that it would be normal practise that everyone in PR would be already doing this, but trust us on this. It is not something everyone in the hotel industry does.
Cater to the Media
Every news piece can be news for every media if you know how to spin it.
For example, ‘Mooncake Promotions’ across Asia. Like clockwork, as we approach September, it seems that every hotel tries to push their ‘but we’re different’ Mooncake Promotion to every media outlet. In general, if a Mooncake promotion is sent to Hotelintel.co, it would find its way to the trash folder. There is a way you could get published however and chances are it would be even more effective that your original press release. Is there any way that you might present your Mooncake promotion from a new angle? Instead of just stating the price and how great your mooncakes are, given that our readers are hoteliers from all over the world, we want to know how many you have sold so far? How much revenue might mooncakes drive to a property? What’s the difference between mooncakes and other dessert items? Is it worth having it in the outlet? Why mooncakes? Any one of these points will be deemed relevant to our readers and will (probably) definitely get published.
So if media outlets won’t publish a good portion of your Press Releases, how should Hotels send press releases?
There are press releases where your authority counts - where no matter how big your own distribution database or your digital budget is, you don’t have the authority you need to communicate any real conviction in the reader. That’s when you need third party channels.
But, if it is a standard promotional press release, you don’t really need that kind of third party authority. All you need is a direct communication channel with your guests - and potential guests. In these cases, you need direct communication services like those that NotifyMe provide.
NotifyMe allows you to build direct communication channels with every person that comes into contact with your property in one way or another - room guests, restaurant diners, event attendees, staff and affiliated groups. The cool thing about NotifyMe is that it will ensure that the message delivered is in the language of the receiver. That means that your target audience receives much more personalised and relevant information, increasing the chances of them engaging with you. They even have the ability to push notifications via beacons so that you can target notifications based on their actual location in your property.
As a PR professional, it pays to know the media that you partner with, as well as know all of the tools in the market that can make your job a deal easier. Just a little bit of prep work can make sure that no press release goes to waste.