The hospitality industry represents probably the biggest and most diverse sector in the world of small businesses. It covers everything from village pubs, through bed and breakfasts, food outlets and hosted tourist attractions.
It is estimated to be worth over £60billion, accounting for around 3 million jobs, and as such has a wide following from the media.
The challenge is that, because of the size of the sector, the market is full of case studies and comments, with a whole range of businesses looking to profile their brands. So how do you make your business stand out?
Below we’ve created a four point strategy to consider when planning your PR in the hospitality industry.
Target Audience: Hospitality publications
The first aspect to consider when planning your PR is defining your target audience. Who are they, what interests them, and what do they read and listen to? Matching your audience, as well as you can, to the right publications is important as there is a wide variety of titles in the hospitality sector, many quite specific to one area.
Ensure that whenever you post comments the target journalists are on your distribution list, and if at all possible build up personal relationships so that you become their go-to person whenever they are writing an article. Journalists always have their trusted list of sector experts. The objective should always be to get on it.
Work out what it is that you want covered in the media, and why it is that a journalist would write it, and your target consumer read it. The stories must be relevant, interesting, factual and different. Statistics always help too.
Timing is important. Writing about Easter breaks in February will coincide with when journalists are looking for such comment. Keeping children occupied in the summer holidays will be in demand by journalists at least six weeks before they have broken up.
The three key words are ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘when’.
Including a good image with any news release will add to the likelihood of a journalist using it. The photograph has to be high quality and have real visual interest. At the same time, it should promote your brand, but not too obviously.
Often a high-resolution image can increase download time for a journalist which can be frustrating, and enough for a journalist to move on to the next story. It is perfectly acceptable to include the image as a link at the bottom of the release. Ensure you use new images with different releases, making sure that each one is genuinely relevant to the story.
Share your experience
There is no substitute for a journalist being able to say they have been there and seen it.
Consider arranging an event for your chosen journalists to be invited to and experience your hospitality. Events give a perfect opportunity for journalists to ask the questions they want answers to, and obtain the quotes they need, to add to the interest to their articles.
Through events you can also promote yourself further using social media. Most trade shows, for example, will have trending hashtags which you can piggyback.
Building a strategy covering all these aspects will help you to get your brand in front of the journalists and bloggers you need to influence, and draw their attention away from the other businesses in your sector who are looking to poach your media opportunity.
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Written by: Peter Ibbetson, Company Director
As one of the co-founders of JournoLink PR, Peter is passionate about giving small businesses a voice in the press by providing them with the support and advice to do just that.