Industry  |  4 October 2021  |  Eva Lacalle  |  4 minute read

Why are public relations essential in the hotel sector?

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In the hotel sector, a fundamental part of creating visibility is public relations; hotels must rely on this branch of communications as a complimentary part of their marketing efforts. It is essential to connect with media outlets in order to build relationships for your brand and strengthen your business narrative. Furthermore, public relations are a successful tool to influence guest behavior during the consideration phase of the buyer journey, allowing you to connect with your audience and sell your hotel’s experience and unique value proposition. 

In this article we will look more in depth at public relations in the hotel industry, why it’s needed and different types of actions that can be taken in the hospitality sector that will positively impact your brand. 

 

What does public relations stand for in the hotel industry?

Public relations in the hotel industry means cultivating meaningful relationships with movers and shakers who can influence purchasing decisions by helping tell your brand’s story and selling the unique experience you offer. PR specialists can not only promote your brand, they can also be a key figure in crisis communications should any negative press come up around your hotel, helping to overcome challenges. Learn about the most important challenges faced by hotels. 

With demand changing in the hotel industry due to the rise of new ways of traveling such as the sharing economy – namely Airbnb – the hotel industry has become more and more competitive. PR can be a key form of communication in order to propel your brand beyond the competition. 

 

Why does a hotel need public relations?

A hotel needs public relations to boost business in low season and to be successful year-round. Having a good PR strategy could make the difference in catapulting you ahead of the competition through media coverage, which creates a buzz for your brand through focused messaging for your target audience. Furthermore, through increased communication, you can build relationships with potential or regular guests and help influence their purchasing decisions by having a planned set of targeted messages throughout the buyer journey. 

A PR professional could be one of your most beneficial investments, together with hotel property management software, which you can use to design hospitality solutions that maximize efficiency, revenue and improve the overall guest experience. Public relations professionals are masters of storytelling, and they know how to identify which publications and influencers to target in order to reach your desired clients. They can also design targeted events that will help your hotel to connect with potential guests, and to plan a series of actions throughout the year that will help keep your audience engaged. 

We’ll discuss different types of actions in more detail below.

 

Different types of public relations actions in the hospitality sector

There are many different types of PR actions in the hospitality industry, and through these different touchpoints you can engage your audience and create brand recognition that will convert one-time guests into lifelong clients. 

Let’s take a look at some of the actions your hotel can take. 

News outreach 

Cultivating relationships with the news media is one of the primary functions of public relations. This can be particularly beneficial when your hotel has exciting news to present such as a restaurant or bar opening, new collaborations with designers or local artists, an event, or pro Bono actions. By connecting with journalists on a regular basis, they are more likely to cover your hotel’s news when something news-worthy comes about. 

Promote customer loyalty

Public relations can be used to create and promote a customer loyalty strategy. Whether it’s doing outreach to happy customers or letting them know about upcoming deals and promotions, keeping in touch with your loyal clients is an important part of your PR strategy. 

Events

Your hotel might already have an events planner on staff, but with public relations you can strengthen even further the impact of your events. They can spread the word to invite the right people who will help amplify the events through social media, because without proper communication it’s as if the event didn’t happen. 

Furthermore, if your hotel wants to promote itself as a venue for weddings, corporate events and conferences, through public relations outreach and marketing efforts you can make this offer more visible. 

Strengthen your value proposition

PR professionals can design a series of actions that will help strengthen your value proposition and send the message to the right media outlets and potential guests. Because after all, who better to design your guest personas than someone who’s in constant contact with the people you want to target? Based on these guest personas, you can use public relations to promote a series of events or promotional strategies that are in alignment with your hotel’s differentiating factors.

If your hotel is, for example, in the mountains near the ski slopes, they can help you create a series of promotions and events during the winter season so that your hotel can be seen as a place not only to spend a ski weekend but also for day-skiers to relax by the fire before driving home. Maybe you can offer some jazz music with some artisan mocktails or quick bites for those in a hurry to hit the road.

Coordinate guerrilla marketing efforts

Guerrilla marketing is a viral marketing tactic that gets consumers talking about your brand through a unique marketing concept. With public relations, you can design and promote these types of campaigns in order to create a buzz about your hotel. These interactive campaigns could be carried out in unexpected places when people aren’t necessarily thinking about a hotel stay, whether that be through street giveaways, different PR stunts, and advertising in unconventional places. 

This help creates brand awareness which maximizes resources with little investment, and increases the chances your hotel will come to mind when it comes time to book. While publicity can be expensive, with guerrilla marketing you can achieve similar benefits inexpensively and perhaps even more effectively. 

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve looked at the need for public relations in the hotel industry and some of the actions that these professionals can help your hotel to take in order to increase visibility, brand recognition and boost sales.

Having a clear strategy of the actions your hotel will take to help strengthen your brand through events and other promotional activities is key to setting your hotel apart from the competition. Through PR, you can maintain a solid relationship with media outlets and guests throughout the year in order to ensure the year-round success of your hotel.

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Author:

Eva Lacalle | 4 October 2021

Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.

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