|By Glenn Hasek, President, Hasek Communications,
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
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
release writing, case
study writing, media
and other marketing-related design and writing, and ad
copy writing and design. For additional information, call (440) 243-2055,
e-mail email@example.com or visit
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.