Whether a hotel is small, inexpensive, luxury, a resort, near a national park, or something else, PR should be a primary concern for any destination. For all types of hotels and whether or not a PR professional is in their budget, it’s still important to get the word out and keep getting it out.
In small communities near a significant tourist attraction, there are built-in approaches that can be shared on websites and social media. But the truth is, for all hotels one of the most important things to know is what about your hotel is special, unique, outstanding, or better than others in a similar price range in the area.
FIND WHAT’S UNIQUE
A honeymoon specialty resort in the Poconos might have a heart-shaped or champagne glass tub, a fireplace, and a round bed, and pictures of those should be on the website, but many other hotels in the area will also have those. Either look for or create something unique to your hotel, maybe horse riding lessons or putting that tub with sauna jets out on a private balcony overlooking particularly scenic views. It could also be a four-star Michelin rated restaurant on the premises. Whatever is special about your place should be key to all your advertisements and PR, setting you apart from the rest.
If you aren’t certain, then speak to your visitors, ask them what they loved about their stay, what they think would make it better, and ultimately, ask them to write a quick paragraph about your place. Offer them something special for doing so – maybe five free postcards or two-for-one coupons to a local bakery.
Do something special after they leave. Send a thank you or if they came celebrating an anniversary or birthday, make note of it in your calendar to send a card the next year to commemorate and offer something in celebration of that event. It might be an all-day lift ticket if you operate a ski resort, or send a picture of how beautiful nature is there during your off-season.
PR is usually less expensive than ad campaigns, but they can also work together to amplify your efforts. For small hotels, using social media platforms is a good way to do some targeted advertising without spending a lot of money. Just make sure you get professional-grade photos for your efforts. If you don’t want to spend a lot, offer your guests the opportunity for a free night added to a paid two-night stay if they win a monthly photo contest of the area or something about the hotel they loved.
Talk to employees about extracurricular activities and share their stories with the local newspaper, then share those articles on social media right after it comes out as well as about a month later, and then maybe again six months later. People don’t see all the things listed on social media since only so many things appear on a news feed on the sites.
Small hotels may take advantage of opportunities to list travel-related sites to share their unique and special traits such as extreme customer service or maybe a breakfast buffet for all guests that features fresh blueberry items if the hotel is in blueberry country. Have free drop-off and pick-up service to a nearby amusement park or other activity.
IDEAS FOR A HOTEL PR CAMPAIGN
- Look at sites for other hotels near and far to see what works for them and get ideas, then make them applicable to your place.
- Share stories on social media about events in the community, local places to visit, annual festivals, even who the best local teachers are for skiing, swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. Tell about where the best place to find arrowheads, seashells, souvenirs trinkets, etc.
- Mention special services like a spa, driving range for golf, tennis lessons from a pro, or family style eating for guests.
- Always ask for them to write a brief review or to share what they liked best on their social media accounts.
- Word of mouth PR is one of the most effective ways to promote your business.