As well as being undoubtably a challenging era, it’s also an incredibly exciting time for the travel industry as it adapts and shifts to new consumer demand, environmental responsibilities and digital capability. We’re seeing new concepts and new ways of creating and bettering travel and hotel experiences come to life from some visionary individuals.
Travel start-ups, new entrepreneurs and first-time independent hoteliers may think that PR is something they aren’t ready for, don’t fully understand or can’t justify investing in. However, some publicity work with the right partner can go a long way to help effectively shape and grow business in those early days.
Hone a mission statement
Often when I speak to first time hoteliers and travel entrepreneurs, they are brimming over with passion and ideas that come spilling out — which is so brilliant! But when it comes to talking about your business in the media or to customers it helps to have a defined set of messages — the very first thing a PR will work with you to craft. It sounds simple but sometimes it takes an external gaze to help boil down the essence of your company.
A good PR professional will advise clients from the very outset that visuals are hugely important. In the travel and hotel business, having strong photography is essential and I am still amazed and disheartened when I see companies not doing themselves justice photographically. I’ll go through shot lists together with clients to make sure they are maximizing every minute of their photoshoot and have the assets to bring their concept to life whether on the printed magazine page or on Instagram.
Coverage sparks more coverage
Those first few pieces of editorial on your hotel or business can inspire a raft of future media opportunities in themselves. Following a recent feature in Wallpaper*, one of my hotel clients saw opportunities coming in from media and brand partners around the world. 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.