Ms. Dietrich

Social Media & Relationship Marketing

Developing a Comprehensive PR Plan for Your Hotel

By Gini Dietrich, Founder & CEO, Arment Dietrich Inc.

Last month you wrote your objectives and strategies. Now you're ready to begin writing the tactics in order to achieve results.

When people think of public relations, they automatically think "Oh! That person can get me on Oprah!" While someone like Oprah can make you, it's very rare for a company to be on her show, unless it's a company owned by a celebrity. You must think about targeted trade publications and reporters at your daily newspaper and business journal. You also must think about additional tactics you can do that are directly translated back to sales.

If you don't have any experience working with reporters, I'm going to recommend you hire someone to help you. In future columns, I'm going to give you tips for conducting interviews, so you're prepared for talking with the media.

This week, I'm going to help you find tactics that work for you and will help you increase sales.

Did you do your homework last month? Did you look at other companies you like? Did you figure out what they do well? Did you look at your competition? Did you figure out what they do well?

What I'd like you to do now is write a list of those things. They might include:

What other ideas do you have?

Now let's go back to your objectives and strategies. How are you going to achieve each of them in the next 90 days, six months, and year?

I like lists and calendars. List your first objective and the strategies that accompany it. Then list the tactics you're going to use to achieve them. Then take a blank calendar and start inputting the tactics in it.

For instance, you know you want to send a direct mail postcard to new neighbors every month. Add "send postcard" to your calendar on the first Monday of every month. And then back it out from there: You'll need to decide on the offer, write the copy, design the postcard, get the printed, make certain you have enough money in your post office account, and mail them. All of these should be on your calendar.

I like to think of our calendars as "roadmaps" for doing our client's work. One of us could win the lottery and then our clients would be up a creek because we'd have a hard time picking up where that person left off. But with the calendar, if you're having an off day or someone on your staff leaves, you simply have to look at it to see what comes next.

Once you have your calendar complete for one tactic, go on to the next idea. Ask your team what they would like to do. Pay attention to what your competition is doing. And copy them! Add all of these ideas to your calendar so you have a fluid and active work plan. Public relations is about relationships with reporters, organization, attention to detail, and talking to your target audiences at the right times. This calendar will help you with everything but the relationships.

The relationships with reporters you have to do on your own. Future articles will tell you exactly how to build relationships with the reporters you should be working with, but in the meantime, I want you to read the newspaper, read the business journal, and read the trade publications.

I'll give you a hint, for HotelExecutive.com you want to talk to one of my favorite Aussies - Benedict Cummins. Shoot him an email and tell him why you think your hotel is different and why he should feature you in an upcoming email blast. And keep him updated on new happenings; i.e. new construction, acquisitions, remodelings, new flags, new products/services, new senior-level hires, etc. Figure out who you should be talking to at all of the other publications you read and call them! Most will take your call and will be happy to hear from you.

Gini Dietrich is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc. Arment Dietrich, Inc. is a Chicago-based, integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of the book, “Spin Sucks”, and co-author of the book, “Marketing in the Round”. She is also co-host of Inside PR, and founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Ms. Dietrich’s blog, Spin Sucks, is the number one PR blog in the world. Actively engaged in social media and blogging since 2006, Ms. Dietrich has advised many clients on how to incorporate digital media into a larger, and more integrated, marketing program. She can be found on Spin Sucks, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram. Ms. Dietrich can be contacted at 312-787-7249 or gini.dietrich@armentdietrich.com Extended Bio...

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