In an interview with Randy Hennen, Publisher for Midwest Meetings magazine, he offers a lot of valuable advice for hoteliers who would like to gain exposure in trade press publications and increase group business. Here’s what he advises hotel properties to do so they can effectively market a meeting venue or hotel through story telling.
One of the most overlooked and useful insights is an emerging trend. If your sales force is getting multiple requests for a specific need (gluten-free meals for example), you have the opportunity to position your facility as a leader of this trend.
From there it is a pretty easy step to getting a story written and published using your facility, staff, and expertise as examples for other meeting planners who may have the same concerns. Your staff is also the first to discover other meeting trends such as size, budget, planning timeline, virtual attendance percentages, and so forth.
Interesting fact: Benchmark Resorts & Hotels releases the Top 10 meeting trends of the year, observed by its properties. It appears their annual trends releases started in 2002.
How should a hotel go about building a media list? Are there any tools or resources you recommend?
The simplest approach is always the best, just be straight forward and honest.
"I have a new sales manager - may I send you a press release?"
Most editors have a "contact me" button on their website, and using it will prevent your email from being marked spam. Connect with social media: follow, like, pin, and connect. LinkedIn works the best from a professional point of view, it allows me to verify who you are.
Why do LinkedIn groups matter? Find out how LinkedIn groups can help your introduction to new connections.
If there isn't a marketing or public relations manager on-site at a hotel, who do you recommend writes the press release? What valuable advice would you give?
Any editor should be willing to give a hand with the press releases. Often we discover new information (awards, expansions, new staff, etc.) through our sales team [at MidWest Meetings magazine] speaking with the venue's Director of Sales. From there it is just a simple matter of a writer gathering the facts and images and putting together a press release. From Midwest Meetings point of view, you are welcome to copy/paste and send the release to your other contacts in your media list.
What's the best way for a hotel to submit a press release or pitch to Midwest Meetings?
Simply visit our contact us page, www.midwestmeetings.com/meet-randy. The most important piece of advice I can give is for the facility to know their information is valuable. Trade publications need to know the latest news - please share with us!
Industry resources like Hotel-online.com accept press releases from hospitality related firms and agencies. This is an easy way for your press release to generate digital media impressions and extend your reach to editors at trade press publications.