The Public Relations Society of America defines Public Relations (PR) as a "strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics."
Nowadays, the strategy is divided between digital and traditional and managed by a Communications Director. From this role, the director oversees the organization's communication strategy of these two branches:
- Digital: in which a Digital PR Manager takes care of the relationship with influencers and bloggers and seeks to enhance the brand's presence on their blogs and social media platforms.
- Traditional: typically run by a PR Manager who pursues visibility opportunities for the hotel or different properties on conventional media - printed and online - such as newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio.
But, let's get to the fun part. What would you be doing as the PR Manager of a hotel?
Bénédicte Fages, the PR Manager of Marriott International France & Monaco, kindly welcomed us at The Westin Paris – Vendôme where she shared her vast experience in the industry and communications to get a better understanding of what PR entails, and how it can contribute to a company business goals.
There is a wide range of tasks involved in PR, as Bénédicte explained, which require multitasking and staying on top of the news of the fast-paced industry of hospitality. The rich variety of duties is what the majority of PR professionals enjoy and love the most of their role, as there are no minutes left to get bored. Some of the tasks are:
- Having lunch with journalists to build stronger relationships.
- Organizing press trips to other destinations and hotels, if working for a group.
- Welcoming journalists at the hotel to show them the experience of staying at it.
- Coordinating video or photography shootings for media features or interviews.
- Writing releases as needed to inform the press about a particular topic, such as new hotel openings, services, events, and so on.
Now that you know what the job is all about, would you like to follow this career path? These are the necessary skills to excel in PR:
- Have an in-depth knowledge of the media and their positioning in the market(s) that you are looking to impact.
- Be in the know! Making sure to be aware of the latest trends and the general and industry news.
- Be a chameleon! Adapting the brand's message and strategy to each outlet and audience.
All, with the overall goal of increasing the likelihood of the hotel’s brand of being at the top of mind of prospect guests and being their number one choice when booking a room, a restaurant, or when hosting an event. Although, these are quantifiable business goals it is almost impossible to know how PR contributed to each one of them precisely. But, how to measure PR and campaigns is material for an article on its own. So stay tuned!