The following post is from McLean Robbins, Copywriting Manager.
Whether you operate a boutique property or are part of a large brand, these ten tips can help you build a robust online press room that is both consumer and media-friendly.
1. Offer Robust and Easily-Accessible Images & Rich Media. Perhaps I’ve visited your property and want to send a video of my stay to a friend, or download a beautiful vista to use as my desktop background. As a journalist, I’ll want to use these images to create galleries for my online articles or get an idea of what shots I can use in a print spread. Having a robust gallery of images available at high and low resolutions (with appropriate attribution) lets people share your property’s best features quickly and effectively.
2. Give Me Your Contact Information. This is most useful for media – I don’t want to contact your general manager or sales department when I need to set up an interview or visit. Offering your internal property PR contact as well as your external agency of record prevents communications (and potential media mentions) from being lost in the ether. Four Seasons does a nice job with this one – “Hotel Press Contact” is right in my line of vision when I pop up a property’s press page.
3. Just the Facts, Please. Your hotel fact sheet is probably a part of your media kit and meeting marketing materials. Make it easy to find on your press page if you’re not already storing it someplace else. Make sure to share your press kit as well – e-distribution and is infinitely more eco-friendly. The Driskill in Austin has a nice example.
4. Press Releases Galore. The most logical use for a news room is that of a hub for press releases. Make sure they’re kept up-to-date. Bonus points if I can download the releases, share with a friend, or search by keyword within the releases. Make sure your releases are optimized for maximum SEO value.
5. Tell A Story. Have a story you’re dying to share with the media? Put it on your website in a Tips and Story Ideas section. If you’re a branded property, include roundups using properties across the brand. By offering targeted suggestions for story ideas, you’re more accurately able to control the message and “angle” a journalist is likely to take when writing the story. Four Seasons offers this type of “Tips” area on their corporate press page.
6. Share Your Media Mentions. Sure, you issued a press release about that Travel + Leisure award, but why not share a rich image of the article as well? This adds visual interest to your page and is useful to consumers and potential customers as well as media. If you can, encourage media to link to your website in their online mentions – the reciprocal linking offers significant SEO benefit for no added cost. Omni hotels offers a nice press room, here.
7. Toot Your Horn. Share awards and accolades in addition to media mentions. This eliminates the need for a separate Awards page elsewhere on the site.
8. Just For Press. Many journalists will accept “media rates,” although some large publications may not. JDV Hotels is wonderfully transparent in their media accommodations policies. Having a set policy will prevent uncomfortable conversations down the road, and may encourage press to visit your property.
9. Share Your Reviews. Many hotels are now sharing their reviews through Social Buzz or another platform. If you’d like to share guest reviews but not make the streaming so prominent, the press room is a great place to store this information. Taj Hotels uses a selection of curated reviews from high-profile satisfied guests, another potential option. Studies show that sharing reviews helps draw in more and better-satisfied guests.
10. Social Sharing & Connections. You’re on every major social network—make sure you tell this to the media, who may use your social profiles to source additional story ideas. You can also offer the option to stay connected or be added to media lists via email or RSS, something that Loews Hotels does quite nicely.
MICROS eCommerce offers a full suite of marketing solutions as well as number of employees dedicated to ensuring that your business is strategically positioned for the future. We are always available to answer your pressing questions. For more information, contact us today.
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