Hospitality businesses need all the help they can get to profile their businesses as the country reopens. Journalists are there to help them...but how should they go about getting their stories into their columns?
After being locked down for 18 months everyone in the UK is desperate for their break, whether that’s a fortnight’s full-scale holiday or simply a couple of hours in the local pub beer garden.
What’s clear though is that the vast majority of us are looking towards UK destinations, with bookings for August nearly 500% higher than two years ago.
But what are the rules, where are the attractions and where should we go?
Journalists are very willing to help share the details and there has never been a more important time for hospitality businesses to make full use of media outlets to promote themselves.
So how should they go about it?
Journalists aren’t there to give free advertising. Their focus is always on actual stories with good images. They need something that’s different, something that their readers will be interested in. The more impactful the news, the more likely it is that a journalist will pick it up and write the story.
National journalists and broadcasters will look for details that will support the trending news. They will be interested in the impact of government actions, staff issues as a result of Brexit, Covid isolation and furlough for instance. Or difficulties in getting specific food delivered, running Covid compliant locations, managing Covid loan repayments and running businesses with lower volumes of visitors.
Being noticed quickly by the journalists means a good headline and a good image. The short punchy headline needs to catch the right journalists’ eyes. For regional news titles include the locality in the headline so that local journalists can easily identify the stories that will be suit their audiences.
The image needs to be relevant to the story, but also one that will draw people to it, and will look good in print and online. It needs to be good quality, and businesses that discreetly have their business in the background can find themselves with some ‘free’ advertising.
Journalists’ articles are always more successful with an image alongside, and it can often make the difference between a release getting picked up rather than passed over.
Always make sure that you include your contact details in any outreach to a journalist and be available at their convenience rather than your own.
Journalists work to tight deadlines, and are time short, so will move onto the next potential case study on their list if they are struggling to get hold of you, and you aren’t available.
There are three ways businesses usually engage with journalists.
19 out of 20 of us now do our research and take note of others’ reviews and recommendations before deciding where to go on holiday, what events we should go to, and where we should eat.
One of the most listened to sets of reviewers are journalists, and it is well worth businesses making PR part of their marketing strategies, allocating at least 10% of their marketing spend to PR, but no more that 20% of their budget, leaving plenty too for other marketing initiatives.
Businesses have two options when looking for help with their PR.
They can employ a PR professional either in an agency or as a freelancer, where the monthly cost will generally range from £750 a month for a freelancer through to several thousands of pounds a month for an agency.
Alternatively, they can use one of the online services such as JournoLink, where the monthly cost can be as low as £50.