The main goal for any brand is to get their product or service in front of potential customers, especially those who find the offerings worthy of their investment. The hospitality industry (which includes lodging, food and drink service, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line and traveling) is unique because often times the sale has to be made on perception alone. An effective hospitality public relations strategy will keep the audience connected with the brand, increase visibility and credibility, and maintain relevance despite the ebbs and flows of the season.
Writing the Narrative From the Inside Out
Unlike a simple marketing plan, hospitality public relations requires crafting a compelling story of the brand’s employees, potential customers and surrounding communities. The saying, “the whole is only as good as the sum of its parts,” applies to the hospitality industry. Sharing personalized stories from employees and guests and crafting unique messaging to achieve an image only a guest would relate to is an offering public relations agencies have perfected.
Though it’s not a novel concept, creating a plan for company business months in advance is a key tool in the hospitality public relations toolbox. Take a hotel company for example. An understanding of the hotel’s busy season is equally as important as it’s off-season to incorporate creative initiatives that will drive business when the rate of guests are plummeting. Additionally, an effective public relations strategy will include consistent partnerships to enhance brand presence year-round and offer mutual benefits for multiple brands.
Building Trust to Drive Sales
Unlike advertising, public relations aims to generate earned, unpaid media coverage and trust rather than exposure. Hospitality public relations is involved in an industry that is based solely on experiences. Before a potential guest or customer can walk away satisfied with their beverage, meal or stay, they have to commit their time and money. This requires a large amount of trust that is often built through public relations efforts in first persuading the media to accept the branded content and second convincing readers that this experience is worth their time and money.
Considering hiring a PR firm for your hospitality business? Here’s what to look for.