MATTER: GO PUBLIC
ANOUSCHKA MENZIES, FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF BACCHUS PR, ON WHY MEDIA MATTERS
Missed this morning’s MATTER session with Anouschka Menzies? Check out these highlights from her discussion on why PR is relevant in today’s digital world and her top tips for maximising PR with a small budget and successfully hosting media; or check out her full presentation here.
- Traditional PR still counts:
- Although today’s world of communications is very fast-moving, features and mentions of your brand in respected print publications (all of which have online versions) are still the most effective way of building brand credibility.
- Through the media you can communicate several key messages about your property, whilst social media will only be able to focus on a small element of the hotel.
- The biggest difference between social media and traditional PR is that traditional articles are written by an impartial, qualified third party and are therefore seen as the ultimate brand endorsement.
- Small budget, big results:
- Evaluate the most interesting things to do and see in your area and partner with local companies so they can support you and gain publicity.
- Make friends with local airlines or rail networks – they want PR too, so partner with them, as your single biggest cost will be covering the media’s travel to your property. Ensure the journalist agrees in writing to credit their travel provider, prior to agreeing to host them.
- Speak to your food and drink suppliers and ask them to support the trip with complimentary product. Alternatively, and if relevant, ask your cosmetics or spa supplier to also host a masterclass.
- Choose the right media and approach:
- Evaluate your target publications and have an A-list and a B-list. Choose one long-lead, mid-lead, short-lead (including newspaper supplements) and online title. Prior to approaching media, define five strong story angles so that each journalist has a different story to pursue and they do not feel in competition with one another.
- A helpful breakdown of potential angles could be food, design, a local area guide or link with a cultural happening. Make sure you time the cultural happening with when the piece might run.
- Research the journalists you wish to approach and check their social media channels and previous pieces they have written so you can understand what appeals to them and tailor your pitch to resonate with their passions.
- When you approach media be respectful; create an engaging email title, be concise (long emails are never read) and refer to a piece they have written that inspired you to invite them to visit your property.
- A great way to really get the most out of a press trip is to invite media who write for different territories, thereby avoiding conflict of story angles.
- Always request an email once you have established a journalist is keen to attend the trip. Be sure to confirm that the journalist has been commissioned for a piece, stating the publication, when it is slated to run and estimated word count.
- Be a host with the most:
- Plan the itinerary with the journalists you have invited; check if there is anything they are keen to do and tailor the trip as much as possible to their requirements in order to generate the best coverage.
- Allow for certain activities on the itinerary to be optional, as media often have to complete other work on a trip. If needed, leave a morning free for them to research their particular story angle further.
- When media arrive, have a bespoke itinerary in their rooms (detailing social media handles and any dedicated hashtags) and a gift from the local area that you know they will appreciate.
- Create meaningful relationships with the media by finding common ground.
- Stay in touch post-trip and they will support you in the future.