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5 Ways PR Can Help Luxury Hotels

What is Public Relations?

Public Relations, aka PR, is storytelling, building awareness and shaping a brand’s image through different forms of communication. Basically, an overall method of strategizing the spread of information to the public through traditional & social media, partnerships, events and more. As Top Chicago Publicists, we connect with the ultimate gatekeepers, the media, to target audiences across the globe and craft newsworthy story angles to convey messages in the best possible light. 

Simply put, it’s communicating your message to an audience. It’s how you tell your story, where you tell it and to whom. Storytelling can be done in a variety of different ways and on multiple platforms, but using a strategy to determine which methods work for your target audience is key. Leveraging media channels such as TV, radio and print to promote and create a “word-of-mouth referral” is paramount – it cultivates a positive public image and gives instant brand recognition and credibility. It’s also the hardest to obtain – The Best PR Agencies use their relationships with the media to tell your story and secure coverage for free, known as “earned media.”

Bettie Bomb helps clients of all types with earned media, including luxury hotels.  You may be asking yourself, “How can they help my luxury hotel?” 

How Can Public Relations Help Luxury Hotels?

With the ultimate goal of putting “heads in beds,” public relations for hotels, especially luxury hotels, is important now more than ever. COVID-19 has offered new challenges, especially as it relates to the hospitality industry. With the pandemic postponing or completely canceling travel plans, putting the spotlight on the hotel industry is crucial. With many not having a budget to travel or stay at a luxury hotel, it is key to develop interesting, value-driven (without taking away from your brand) programming with the goal of positioning your property as a must-stay for guests while traveling to their chosen destination. 

Bettie Bomb specializes in helping develop interesting programming that will be of interest to not only the media, but travelers as well. Below, we share five ways we can assist with putting a spotlight on your luxury brand. 

Way #1 – Think Like The Guest 

The best way to know what guests want is to hire an agency who thinks like the guest and knows what they want. A guest staying at a value – driven hotel is going to think differently than the person staying at a luxury hotel. Those choosing the luxury hotel have high expectations for their experience and it’s important to deliver. From special amenities to turn-down service, every detail counts. Bettie Bomb does the research and works closely with your team to know what your target audience expects while staying at your hotel and then develops a Strategic Hotel PR Plan that will reach this audience. From packages that offer one-of-a-kind experiences to customized requests we can work with you to identify your guests’ needs. 

Luxury guests have above and beyond expectations, so it’s important to establish this in branding and especially social media. Many guests submit special requests via social media as well and it’s always important to be able to answer quickly and deliver! In summary, we know what guests want and can deliver a plan that can align with their needs. 

Way #2 – Timing Is Everything 

Any marketing campaign, tactic or initiative, is as good as the strategic communication plans that drive it. This is especially important for hotel brands which rely heavily on consumer spending and travel patterns so the most important part of Hotel PR Strategy is timing. A smart strategy encapsulates the obvious high seasons, such as holidays and summer travel, but also plans creative initiatives to drive what’s missing during the slower season months. Of course it is important for a hotel PR strategy to be based on the pursuit of proactive partnerships such as brand presence during an event or, a creative season-based consumer roll out.

At Bettie Bomb, we know it’s important to drive business all year long and we can work with your team to ensure that we are targeting the appropriate media at the right time. Whether it’s targeting the affluent local outlets for staycations in the winter or national and international business outlets during convention season, we can include this in our strategy. 

Way #3 – Target the Right Media 

First you must ask yourself, “Who are we trying to drive to our property?” Is it those driving in from the surrounding regions, suburbanites looking for a staycation or international travelers coming in for conferences (hopefully in 2021, we will see more of these happening!) It’s important to know who your target audience is so we can align on what type of media we are reaching out to. For a luxury hotel, mainstream media like the travel sections of daily newspapers are important, but also magazines that target the affluent traveler such as Hemispheres, Conde Nast Traveler, Elite Traveler, Afar and Virtuoso Life and many more will put your brand in front of readers who are interested in staying at your property. 

The best part? Bettie Bomb has relationships with all types of media and can create a plan that targets these publications. It’s also important to invite these journalists to stay on property and experience that hotel. The best way for them to share about your brand is to experience all aspects of it. Bettie Bomb has planned many FAM (familiarization) trips for media of all kinds as well. This is an opportunity to further enhance your Hotel PR Campaign

Way #4 – All About The Experience 

Luxury travelers are expecting their stay at a hotel to be a memorable one. It’s important that their stay is not just any stay. Experiential offerings are more important these days than ever. It can be a private in-room wine tasting with a top sommelier in the city, a private helicopter tour of the city, a behind-the-scenes of the hotel, or a chef’s tasting menu by the restaurant’s award-winning chef. With experiences like these it’s important to have the appropriate partnerships established so planning is simple internally. Bettie Bomb has worked with companies around the city to facilitate partnership opportunities resulting in one-of-a-kind experiences for guests. In turn, these one-of-kind experiences are always of interest to the media and can be a focus area for a Hotel PR Campaign

Way #5 – Be Unique 

With so much competition in the hotel industry overall, it’s important in the luxury space to be unique and set yourself apart from other competitors. Initiatives like experiential packages, partnerships, and other offerings will create a memorable experience for guests, setting your brand apart from the competition. 

Examples can include a program for welcoming pets to the hotel including amenities like doggie toys, personalized bowls and more, private car tours of the city, customized experiences for kids, and much more. The opportunities are endless (if budget allows) when it comes to creating these unique experiences and offerings. And the more unique the better for media coverage. If a journalist sees something offered at a hotel that they’ve never seen before they are more likely to cover it in a story than an offering that is more common. So the sayings you hear as a kid growing up – Be the Best, Be unique, You’re One of a Kind – are relevant in business as well! 

Introduction to Bettie Bomb

Founded in 2005, Bettie Bomb is a Chicago Hotel PR Agency, offering a suite of services from trusted industry partners under one creative umbrella. PR, Marketing, Social Media and beyond…we work as an extension of your team, creating personalized campaigns, building awareness and telling your story when it matters most.

We are a female-owned, Boutique Midwest PR Agency specializing in all things lifestyle: food, fashion, hospitality, retail, health & wellness, medical, consumer and philanthropy. Partners Rebecca Kussmann & Laura Collins work closely with businesses & organizations to target key audiences and generate exposure all under the Bettie Bomb umbrella. Work one-on-one or have us build a team. We can be BIG and we can be small…that’s the beauty of it. Small, but mighty with the ability to grow. That’s us in a nutshell.

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