Author: Martina Lucić Čanak - Date: 24/04/2017
Happens quite often that travel business owners hire a PR team and wait for the magic of sales increase to happen literally overnight. It would be great if this could work. Unfortunately this kind of believes will lead only to a disappointment.
Travel is a dynamic and rewarding industry to work in, filled with challenges, fulfillment and opportunities to travel, meet new people and share the incredible experiences with others.Public relations is an art, not a science. And it’s a long-term strategy. If we talk about public relations in travel business it is worth to know couple of things before any magic can happen.
One of the most important skills Travel PR professional has to have is having deep roots in the industry. This is a skill which makes a basic difference from other PR agencies. This doesn’t mean that some part of the job other PR agency will not be able to fulfill, but if you think on a long term and your strategy would include also a B2B segment focused on sales increase, take care that your Travel PR has an understanding of creating and selling the tourism and travel product.
One of the main values Travel PR agency brings is the ability to tell your travel brand story in a compelling way that makes the media want to write about you. This brings us to the following essential skills the agency should provide for your tourism and travel brand:
Those skills will assure a Travel PR agency to be able to:
PR is a strategic and measurable part of an overall marketing program. You will get the most of any PR activities as soon as you are completely aware what are you aiming to achieve. In other words what does it mean for you as a travel brand to hire a Travel PR agency.
Take care that any PR professional in order to do a job has to know all about every aspect of your business, as your business plan, your goals, database etc. Be ready to be completely honest. If you ever hired a lawyer, you know what I mean. If you feel uncomfortable about talking about so many details, it’s easy to handle that with a nondisclosure agreement. It is important to know that as more details you provide, a PR will be as more successful on your behalf.
When you are talking with Travel PR agencies it is a good idea to ask them in which way they will integrate media relations into for example marketing program. In this case you will feel like you have put the money into good use.
When you already hired a Travel PR agency for your brand, you should be ready to spend every day some time on PR as well. Now you should ask yourself “Why am I hiring an agency if I have to do the job?” The reason is very simple – nobody knows your business as you do. The agency will do the job and create all the conversation, but you should be there and participate.
Trust your agency. Even though the agency provides solutions and ideas which you might not do yourself, let them guide you and believe that the new idea can lead to extraordinary results.
If your brand has never had any activities on the market, public relations is critical for building awareness of your travel product or service and show how a potential customer/traveler could benefit from your destination, hotel or any other travel product. It is important to showcase your strengths in certain field (luxury, corporate, leisure, health, adventure…), and keep on consistent, ongoing media placements together with other PR activities as events, Press and Fam trips, workshops etc. In this way you will with a help of Travel PR agency generate awareness and exposure, and help achieve revenue goals. It is well known that a strong brand base can increase bookings, encourage engagement and build a lasting, positive reputation.
But when it will happen? Definitely not overnight. It will not happen even in three months. The experience has shown that it is necessary to have at least half a year of everyday activities to be able to see first results. It might seem a long period for the investment from the first sight. When you choose your Travel PR agency wisely, when you know exactly what do you want to achieve, and are ready to have consistency and work together on it, you will be on the right path and results will definitely be there.
Sir Richard Branson once famously remarked, “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.”