In ÒRenovating a Magazine for the Social Media Age,Ó The New York Times reported in depth on the new editor taking over Architectural Digest (AD), the venerable publication. Each year there are two issues devoted to luxury hotels, and it is wise to pitch this top flight magazine, because if you are fortunate enough to get your property it reaches over one million, and is extremely prestigious, Amy Ashley, the new Editor, is changing the name of the magazine to ÒAD,Ó and promises to make it livelier that is has ever been.
So if you are a luxury hotel, how do you go about getting featured? First of all, recognize it is very competitive to get onto the pages of AD, but with social media and the online version expanding, there are more opportunities for coverage. Cultivating editorial contacts there is key. Following are some tips on how to go about it pitching this venerable outlet.Ê
A step-by-step approach
Take scouting shots Ð Obviously, hiring a competent photographer is the right way to put your best foot forward.ÊTake a range of shots encompassing the various aspects of the hotel rooms, suites and lobby, as well as spa and outdoor areas.
Style and accessories are key Ð Make sure to have a tray of tea service, or breakfast, flowers, and other decor items to warm up the shot of a guest room. In the dining room, prepare a beautiful plate of food, together with a glass and bottle of wine.ÊThey will want to see the lobby as well, so add flowers to liven it up.ÊMake it inviting and relaxed to look warm and comfortable.
Write a pitch letter Ð Draft a letter to go with your shots, which highlight the features of the rooms and public spaces, emphasizing what makes them unusual and different from what they may have already seen.
Time to consider Ð Give the editors time to review your submission.ÊThis can do by sending an email to the editor responsible for compiling hotels for review by the editor-in-chief.Ê It is wise to make friends with the editor’s assistant to call and find out if your materials have been received.
Follow up in a few weeks again to make sure they have what’s needed Ð Try to reach out to the right researcher responsible for gathering details on hotels for consideration, and see if they would like any other information.
If you’re lucky enough to get selected, plan on a long lead time for features Ð AD runs on a very long advance, up to 16 months. So be patient.
Architectural Digest only wants exclusives!
Remember, if you commit to a feature in AD then it is an exclusive to them. That means you cannot get it published anywhere else while you are waiting for that story to appear.Ê Don’t breathe a word of it. Once it appears, you can then get widespread coverage,
What is better – print or online
Print has staying power that online coverage doesn’t. Furthermore, if the editors run something in the magazine it will run online. The coverage on their site is valuable because it gets indexed by Google, so when people look for hotels in the Caribbean or France, for example, and your hotel was covered, the Architectural Digest article will come up first.
Additional outlets to consider
Where else can you get coverage on the design of the hotel?ÊWith travelers more discriminating than ever, securing exposure in other media the read is the right way toÊ go.Ê One great site is Houzz.com, which connoisseurs of design prowl like crazy.Ê
Houzz is read by many concerned with design in the hospitality industry. It is a site, which reaches a broad cross section of readers. Since many of them are decorating their homes with expensive furnishings, they are also likely to be your customers.
There are a host of publications that cover the design field, which would also cover hotels. These too have print and online editions. They include:
- Forbes Life
- Robb Report
- Elle Dcor
- New York Magazine
- Vanity Fair
- NY Resident
- Interior Design
- Home and Design
- Metropolitan Home
- Unique Homes
- Coastal Living
- American Express Publishing (for Platinum and Centurion customers)
- American Airlines Ð ÒCelebrated LivingÓ for business and first class, as well as other inflights like United’s Hemispheres.
- Elite Traveler
- Agence Luxury (Blog)
- Marie Claire
- Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
- Luxury Media Magazines i.e. Modern Luxury, Modern Luxury Manhattan
- Upscale Magazine
- Regional Magazines – Manhattan Magazine, New York Magazine
- Connecticut Cottages and Gardens
- Hamptons Cottages and Gardens
- Hamptons Magazine
- Dan’s Papers
- Newspapers Ð New York Times, New Daily News, Wall Street Journal
- Entrepreneur, Business Week, Bloomberg Pursuits
- Crain’s NY Business
- Wealth Collection Magazine (UK but international to Deloitte customers)
Since luxury hotels want to reach those people, it is time to go to town with pitches to magazines, online outlets, blogs and postings on social media.ÊInstagram is the biggest right now for travel, along with Pinterest Ð and provides direct referral to your site. Meanwhile, Facebook considered vital to build your community.
Architectural Digest is the kingpin for coverage on luxury style, so give it your best shot! Remember, after AD publishes, you can then run down the list above and pitch them too. None of those above are competitive or operate on exclusives.
You are going to have to write slightly different pitches to the above pubilications. Take a close look at them online, and see what they cover, then tailor your pitch to the outlet.Ê
Don’t forget images
When pitching the list above, make sure to include images that are compatible with the style of the magazine. Some publicaitons like people in the shots and some don’t.
Take a look at the coverage of the particular editor you are pitching and skew it towards that person.ÊEach editor has a different beat, so you will want to find the appropriate one for your hotel.
All of this takes a significant amount of work. Your in-house marketing or PR person may be up to the task, but often it makes sense to hire a travel PR firm, Abelow PR being one of those in the boutique space with the contacts to get you eye-catching and on-going coverage.
Time to get organized and get exposure for your hotel.
By Lorraine Abelow
Lorraine Abelow has had a 30-year, award-winning, boutique travel PR firm in New York City and is at the forefront of trends affecting traditional and digital media.ÊHer firm has represented such blue-chip names as Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels, as well as boutique properties across the globe and island destinations including St Barth’s and Necker. The agency’s affordable hotel PR campaigns are designed to move the needle regularly gaining eye-catching feature exposure in such top outlets as The New York Times, Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. It’s the long-standing relationships the Abelow PR team has with high-level editors that insures coverage in A list media in every campaign. Coverage in influential blogs and social media campaigns round out Abelow PR’s expertise. Lorraine serves as an honorary judge for the Hotels Sales and Marketing International Association, from which she has won awards for her outstanding achievement over her illustrious career. For more information about this boutique New York City PR firm visit www.AbelowPR.com. You can contact her at [email protected] or 203-226-9247.