Publicity is something that most hoteliers and hosts dream of as it’s a sure fire way to boost your profile and increase your room occupancy. Now, we’re not saying that your property has to be as famous as the Hilton, if that sort of thing scares you, but a little publicity can go a long way. Read the final part our three-part series about the ways in which you can make your property ready for the attention of traditional media.
Shout out in the local press
The thought of being in the papers is an exciting thought which may have you scrambling to the phone to pitch your ideas, but hold your horses! It’s important to do your research to get a feel for the stories they cover. By taking the time to investigate what types of stories your local paper is interested in, you can find original ways to promote your property while keeping in line with latest trends.
Once you’re familiar with the newspaper you want to target, it’s time to start developing some story ideas. Bear in mind that press in your area will be interested in stories that are relevant to the local community, so think about what they care about. Have you helped out a nearby business? Great! That’s something to shout about.
Now it’s time to call your local paper to tell them about the interesting things happening at your property. To get the attention of the press, keep your message snappy and relevant, focussing on your story and what makes your property unique. For most press, tagging them in a tweet and sending them a direct message is the best way to get their contact details.
Writing a press release is also a great way to inform your local press of a story. Draft a release, detailing the news story, which can be anything from being shortlisted for an award, to entertaining a celebrity guest. Then share it with your local papers and radio stations. Before sending it on, add a paragraph about your property, your contact details and the date.
Publicise your property on the radio
Pretty much everything that applies to pitching to press can also apply to radio. Do your research and determine who the audience is and align your stories to suit their interests. Find the producer for the programme you would like to contribute to. Remember, radio is not a visual format so you will have to describe how the listeners can visualise your slot through the medium of sound.
Ensure that you know the programme’s lead time, as in, the time it takes from pitching to airing, so you can make your content relevant and be available for an interview if needs be.
eviivo member Peter Pickering, who was featured making breakfast on BBC Radio Northampton, told us that attracting publicity all boils down to not being afraid to put yourself out there:
“[Don’t be] afraid to contact radio stations and make them aware of what your business has achieved. Local radio stations in particular are always on the lookout for local stories that they can feature.”
Get on TV
Some people were just born for the silver screen. If this is you, a spot on a popular telly show might be just the ticket to getting your B&B’s name out there.
There are plenty of TV programmes about the accommodation industry nowadays – anything from Four in a Bed to The Hotel Inspector. Applying to be on these shows, and featuring, is a great way to raise your profile to an audience already interested in hospitality. It’s relatively simple to apply, just find which channel your TV show is on and apply online. You can apply to Channel 4 shows here.
And don’t sit there thinking “there’s no point, they’ll never pick me.” One eviivo member applied to feature on a show called ‘Daniel and Majella’s B&B Road Trip’ and generated free PR which did wonders for the business!
Take these steps and generate some free publicity for yourself! You’ll never know until you try!