Hotel Online  Special Report


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 Top 10 Ways to Generate a Rapid Return
on Your Public Relations Investment

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By Glenn Hasek, President, Hasek Communications, July 2005

If you are a hotelier or vendor representative who has worked with a reputable public relations professional in the past, you should already know the benefits of a well planned public relations effort: positive branding and increased name recognition, frequent media exposure, quality business leads, and a lingering "buzz" after any event or announcement that was promoted. If you have not worked with a public relations professional in the past—or even if you have—here are 10 ways to guarantee a rapid return on your public relations investment:

  1. Select a professional who has experience in the lodging industry. Why? The learning curve is shorter, the media contacts already are established and the representative knows the best way to make an impact. Time is money. The less time it takes for your representative to get to know your company and industry, the better the value. To ensure your investment, be sure to secure the professional for a minimum of six months with a retainer type of agreement in writing. Expecting an ROI in less time is unreasonable. 
  2. Be sure to understand each other’s expectations. Public relations consultants are not miracle workers who can guarantee placement on page one of USA Today but they should be expected to generate a fair amount of publicity and new business for your hotel or company. Measure success in dollars and placements on a consistent basis.
  3. Choose someone who knows the most effective ways to reach the most people for the least amount of money. The person you work with should know where the hidden publicity treasures are in your industry. For example, did you know there is one publication that offers a free opportunity that always generates leads? Or, that one can reach up to 20,000 people in one industry newsletter in one hit for as little as $125? 
  4. Think "impressions" when you hire your representative. What person will drive the most impressions for your company? The more impressions generated, the greater the likelihood that your efforts will spark new business opportunities. Versatility also is important. In today’s high-speed, electronic world, it is critical that a public relations professional not only know print opportunities but also those on TV, radio and the Internet.
  5. Select a professional who has strong connections with talented graphic designers and photographers. Successful publicity materials—whether e-mails, newsletters or press releases—rely just as much on appearance for their success as content. Even simple product shots have a greater chance of being seen when they are professionally done. A recent release distributed by Hasek Communications for the Courtyard by Marriott, Sherman Oaks, Calif., resulted in multiple placements in magazines because the corresponding photos were professionally taken. 
  6. Choose a public relations professional familiar with crisis communications and do not wait until after a crisis has occurred to retain one. Your investment in a public relations consultant can pay off in one hour if there is a crisis and it is handled properly. A bungled response could result in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars of business and do even worse damage.
  7. To increase the likelihood of a rapid ROI, select a company without a lot of overhead. Large agencies have to charge more to cover their expenses. Companies like Hasek Communications have little overhead and can charge far more reasonable rates. 
  8. Work with someone who can provide sound advertising advice. The purpose of advertising is to support a brand image that already has been built through successful public relations. However, if one invests advertising dollars in a publication that offers the least chance for an investment return, the effort is probably a waste. Sometimes a much smaller investment in a different advertising vehicle makes more sense.
  9. In public relations and advertising, repetition is everything. Your industry will not learn about your company and what it is selling without at least monthly exposure. Work with your public relations professional to develop the most cost-effective way to achieve that goal—monthly press releases, for example.
  10. Select a consultant who recognizes the importance of getting your company "face time" not only in front of potential new customers but existing ones as well. What is the best way to do that? A company newsletter, distributed on at least a quarterly basis, can be used to keep loyal customers and new ones informed about your company’s latest news and products. Case studies, "Customer of the Month" features and promotional sections easily can help produce new business for your company. 
Glenn Hasek, who has more than 12 years of hospitality industry experience, is president of Hasek Communications, a public relations company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Hasek Communications provides public relations services to individual hotels, resorts, hotel companies, management companies and businesses that provide products and services to the hospitality industry. Services provided by Hasek Communications include: news release writing, case study writing, media relations, newsletters, press kits, brochure and other marketing-related design and writing, and ad copy writing and design. For additional information, call (440) 243-2055, e-mail hasekcom@aol.com or visit www.hasekcom.com.
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Contact:
Glenn Hasek
Hasek Communications
(440) 243-2055
hasekcom@aol.com
www.hasekcom.com
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