I often find that hoteliers overlook the local and national ‘traditional’ press in place of new marketing opportunities such as SEO and social media. Press releases are still an excellent way to get the word out about new developments, seasonal packages, and exciting hotel news such as staff changes and quirky events.
According to The Guardian, a top-selling newspaper in the UK, a well-crafted press release needs to:
- Have a killer headline that gets straight to the point
- Get the most important part of your story right at the beginning
- Be concise – approximately an A4 page with a maximum of 300-400 words
- and use quotes to provide insight into, rather than facts
You can write a press release for any reason, but personally, I would recommend writing a press release with a view of increasing sales and awareness, especially if you’re launching a package, promotion or initiative to boost your quiet periods.
Say, for example, you’re looking to boost your bookings in the Winter and you’re launching an amazing new winter short break package that you’re convinced will sell, and you’re including entry to a few local attractions as part of the package price. A good headline for this would be something like ‘Local hotel looking to make winter dreams come true’ with the first sentence reading something like ‘A local hotel has collaborated with local attractions to offer an enchanting winter experience right here in Townsville’.
I’m not a press release expert, but the headline is attractive and stands out, and from a local press point of view, the journalist will be interested that you’re working with local attractions and including entry into the package.
Of course, once you’ve written an eye-catching and informative press release, you need to get it in front of journalists. For local press such as your town or regional newspaper, read through their website to find out which reporters typically cover your area. They’ll often have their email address in their byline now, and if not, you should be able to piece together their email format using something like firstname.lastname@example.org or use their website contact form.
If you’re wanting to attract national press, there’s a couple of options available for you. Firstly, think about your target market and who you’re trying to reach. If you’re looking to attract weddings, there’s not much point in sending your press release to a small business magazine. Take the time to carefully plan which publications you’d like to feature in, and get in touch with them with a personalised email.
There’s plenty of articles available online to help you to expertly craft your press release, and then to get it in front of the people who matter. You can also use press release distribution services, but these often charge a hefty fee and I’ve tended to find I have more success if I take an individual, personalised approach to writing and distributing a hotel press release.
Have you had much success with press releases? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!