Getting Media Mention: Do You Need a PR Representative?

By feature writer Debbie Allen

Some businesses are good at representing themselves in the media. The simple truth is, creative self-promotion seems to come naturally to some people. For these lucky individuals, there is little need to hire PR representation. 

But unfortunately, this is not a talent everyone has. While you may be a genius at running a successful hotel, publicizing that facility is in most cases, probably best left to the experts.

The facts are clear, if you think you might need a PR representative, you probably do. And although the idea of hiring a representative or agency may be scary, the reality is that if you make the right choice, you stand to gain a lot in the way of quality media attention. But this is something that should be given serious consideration.

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Read over the suggestions provided to help you in making decisions about PR representation.

Can PR representation transform your business?

Know What You Want

This may sound silly, but knowing what you want or expect from the PR representative is actually very important. For instance, it could be that you want and expect more stays at your hotel, or your expectations could be simply that you want more visits to your website. Determining your expectations will make it possible to clearly discuss and define goals when working with the representative. This ensures you and the PR rep will be on the same page.

Match the Representative to Your Needs

This may be an instance when size matters. That is, a larger PR agency may tend to cater to large corporations and therefore to large hotel chains. On the other hand, a smaller firm or a boutique PR agency may do a fantastic job of representing a local hotel.

Always do your research. This includes asking for references from both past and present clients as well as doing online investigations into the representative's or agency's online reputation. 

Specialization Please

If possible, the representative should have experience in working with hotels. This will ensure he/she has expertise in creating captivating travel-related announcements. Rather than learning from scratch while working on your PR project, the representative or agency will be building on ideas used in successful projects from the past.

Connections

Don't be hesitant to ask about the PR's connections with relevant media outlets. This should include everything from print editors to those in other outlets, including broadcast and online media. The idea of having professional PR representation is getting media attention for your hotel in a big way!

Budget Concerns

One of the most important considerations related to PR representation focuses on your budget. This is a point that needs to be explored early on in the process, long before you actually choose a PR representative/agency. Some representatives charge a retainer fee that is payable on a yearly, quarterly, or even a monthly basis. With these plans, you are required to pay for the service, even if little or no results are evident.

Other PR agencies and representatives have payment schedules set up on an hourly basis. Depending on how much or how often you plan to utilize the services, this type of plan may be ideal, or it could be very expensive. That is, if you only use PR assistance on a limited basis, perhaps to develop special releases each year, this kind of plan could save you money. But if you use the services of a PR representative on a regular basis, this type of plan can be costly.

Also be sure to read the fine print of any contract you sign. Some agencies and PR reps charge bonus fees for each media placement secured through their efforts.

It's usually the fine print that causes the problems!

Final Thoughts

Most hotels can benefit from the expertise of quality PR representation. However, many things should be considered before hiring a PR firm/representative. Besides considering the needs of your business, it is important to learn all you can about the PR agency.

The bottom line is, if you choose wisely, you will find a PR rep can help your hotel gain quality media mention. That attention can make the difference between your hotel merely surviving and it truly thriving!

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About the author

20130710_n51_headshotdebbieallenDebbie Allen is a content writer, online marketer, and blogger. Besides developing content for her own websites, she likes to share her insights about small business management topics. Debbie's other interests include issues related to self-development and the Law of Attraction.

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