It’s an incredibly exciting — as well as challenging — time for the travel industry as it adapts and shifts to new consumer demands, environmental responsibilities and digital capabilities. There are new concepts and approaches to traveling and to the hotel experience, as high-end brands go beyond the traditional bed and board options to offer thrilling and unique adventures.
Travel start-ups, new entrepreneurs and first-time independent hoteliers may think that PR is something they aren’t ready for, not fully understanding the need or feeling they can’t justify the spend. However, some publicity work with the right PR partner can go a long way to help effectively shape and grow business in those early days.
Hone a mission statement
First-time hoteliers and travel entrepreneurs are often brimming with passion and brilliant ideas. But talking to the media or customers requires more than just great ideas; it helps to have a defined set of messages — the very first thing a PR pro will collaborate with you to craft. Sometimes it takes an external gaze to help boil down the essence of your company.
A good PR professional will advise clients from the outset that visuals are critical. In the travel and hotel business, having strong photography is essential. Travel planning often starts with a trip to the hotel’s website.
Coverage sparks more coverage
Those first few pieces of editorial on your hotel or business can inspire a raft of future media opportunities. “Following a recent feature in Wallpaper, one of my hotel clients saw opportunities coming in from media and brand partners around the world,” reports Scout founder Emma Powell, a London-based PR and communications specialist. If your story is strong, you can see good results from a short PR project if your budget doesn’t allow for a lengthy campaign.
In those early days, receiving positive media mentions really helps secure customer confidence in your product, experience or offering. Having that external validation for your business (which you can shout about on your website) adds gravitas.
Attract investment and grow your team
Media interest generates investor interest. An investment prospect that is gaining publicity in reputable media titles is going to be a more enticing prospect and one that has the potential to enhance the investor’s portfolio. Some investment in PR in the early days of a venture can be repaid many times over in this way. As well as potential investors, articles sharing your story can also inspire others to want to work for you, helping you expand your talented team as you grow in the future.