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How sales support PR can deliver added revenue


By Guest Contributor on 7/26/2016

The primary form of public relations utilized in the hospitality industry is called promotional PR, which aims to enhance the brand and marketplace perception of a hotel property and/or parent company. Although promotional PR is an important component of your marketing mix and is utilized by most if not all independent hotels, chain hotels, brand hotels and corporate hotel groups, it has three limitations:

  • Its ROI is difficult to determine
  • It is ineffective as a presentation tool that your sales team can use
  • It won’t stimulate incoming leads or prospects

Marketing professionals in other industries enhance their promotional PR efforts by launching an additional type of public relations that yields an advantage over their competitors, boosts awareness about their offerings among their target customers/clients, and helps to improve their earnings. This buyer-centric communications strategy is called sales support PR.

When applied by hospitality marketers, sales support PR would seek to influence the buying decisions of target guests/clients by offering news that addresses their specific needs, goals and challenges. While promotional PR shares what a company wants to say, sales support PR shares what prospective buyers need to hear for them to be inspired to make a purchase.

Here’s are five sales support PR how-to tips that can help to deliver sustained, measurable and valuable revenue-generating opportunities:

Powwow with your sales team and do your research
Work with your sales reps to unearth the exact needs, goals, and challenges of their event/celebration, meeting, and group sales clients. What are these clients looking for? Why do they choose one property over another? Which media outlets do they follow when doing their buying research? What are the search terms that they use when they’re compiling information? To ramp up guest bookings and F&B sales, scour the web to learn what has been said about your offerings on major review sites (Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, etc.). Figure out the aspects that customers have loved, and what they perceive as your strong points. Get a sense of their expectations, and how they’ve been met.

Craft and optimize your news releases
Use the arsenal of knowledge that you’ve compiled, devise news releases about your offerings that would have instant appeal to your target buyers. Check back with sales to ensure that the release topics that you’ve chosen would be attractive to their prospective clients. Optimize these releases by sprinkling in the exact needs/goals terminology that you learned from the sales team about their clients (these are your “gold nugget keywords”, and they’ll ensure that your releases rank high in searches and are found by the sales team’s prospective clients).

Post and distribute your news releases
Post your news releases on your property’s site in the News, Media, or Press section. To increase their visibility with prospective clients, launch them via an online news release syndication service.

Pitch your news releases to key media outlets
Using the list of client-followed industry media outlets that were provided to you by your sales team, begin pitching your releases to editors at these outlets. Simultaneously, pitch news releases with relevance to prospective travelers and F&B customers to mainstream media outlets that serve those audiences.

Post and share your story pickups with your sales team
Once your news releases have been picked up by media outlets, the links should be posted on your site and shared with your sales team. Your sales pros can then use them in their current presentations, include them in pitch emails, and send them to inactive or dead leads, whose interest in your property may be invigorated after learning updates about how your offerings are in sync with their specific needs and goals.

Sales support PR is an innovative marketing and business development methodology that isn’t being utilized in the hospitality industry, and that’s good news because the news releases and media stories will have the complete attention of the target audiences for hotels’ offerings.

 


Contributed by Rafe Gomez, VC Inc. Marketing, New York City


 
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