I am continually overwhelmed with story pitches and press releases disguised as news. It is just the new way of the world as every marketer tries to cut through the clutter, get their message out and participate in this era of viral and new media. Some hotel companies are better than others at getting the word out, and some more active than others. Starwood Hotels & Resorts has to be the best.
The latest example of Starwood using its PR and marketing departments to make headlines showed up in my in-box yesterday – just one day after the state of New York legalized marriage between same-sex couples.
The release included the headline: “Now That It’s Legal, Let W Make It Happen.” W Hotels of New York, in support of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, launched a “Right to Unite” package that includes car service to and from City Hall; a “Right to Unite” Flip camera to document the nuptials; Champagne and custom wedding cake; suit press and shoe shine or dress steaming; and, of course, a suite at one of W Hotels’ New York properties. For the couple desiring something a bit more lavish, W will plan the nuptials in style at W New York or W Union Square, where the happy couple will receive two free nights to honeymoon at W Vieques in Puerto Rico.
Yes, this promotion is cheeky, but it shows how quick the company is to react to news, and this is just one example of how fast Starwood picks up on the news and plays to societal and cultural trends in the name of driving business. In this media driven world with everyone Tweeting, Friending, etc., a hotel company that can cut through the clutter with promotions like this – however unique and different – will make a name for itself.