Traditionally, when we think of public relations, we think of newspaper coverage and various forms of print media. The Holy Grail question is, “How can I get my vacation rental company included in a top-tier newspaper or magazine travel feature?”
However, the scope and opportunities of public relations are far larger than this, particularly in this digital and influencer era. Our clients (guests) may be contacted in a variety of ways (amazing potential!). Of course, the national press, but also digital publications, blogging sites, Twitter, Facebook, third-party reviews, influencers, directly from journalists, our partners, and word of mouth from previous visitors.
In a word, public relations is all about reputation and developing trusted connections. Creating and delivering critical messages that will reach and convert the audiences that your company needs to grow. Our objective at Abode PR is to assist vacation rental companies in engaging these audiences and build connections via public relations, social media, and content marketing.
Every company, great or little, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success. This is equally true for a small owner-managed vacation rental company with two or three homes as it is for a major villa agency with hundreds or even thousands of villas in its portfolio.
In today’s competitive market, your reputation might be your most valuable asset – the thing that distinguishes you from the crowd and offers you a competitive advantage. Effective public relations can help you manage and improve your reputation by communicating and building good, trustworthy relationships – relationships that can then help you achieve your goals, whether they are driving traffic to your website, attracting the right guests to your property, growing your portfolio of owners, or building trust in your brand to increase the rate of inquiry conversions.
Start with some serious thought and a clear, practical approach when thinking about generating PR for your vacation rental company. In the long term, the effort spent thinking about what you need PR for, who you need to create connections with, and your ultimate goals will pay off.
Recommendation: Use vacation rental software to help you with your vacation rental business.
So, what’s the issue?
When designing a public relations strategy and plan, start by asking yourself, “What’s my problem?” In other words, what is the business problem that must be resolved? Maybe a new vacation rental company has started up in my territory, and I don’t want to lose my market share. Perhaps I am not optimizing repeat business as much as I might. Maybe I’m a terrific rental for families, but no one knows. Or it’s possible that I just need more of the proper type of traffic to my website.
What do you want to do?
Once you’ve identified the problem or issues that need to be addressed – let’s call this your Current State – you can begin to plan where you want to go: your Future State. These are the goals that will guide all of your activities. What do public relations need to do for your company to be successful – bridging the gap between the current state and your desired future state?
Your PR end-game goals might include the following:
- To establish a reputation as Italy’s premier family-friendly villa rental service.
- To lead high-quality queries to my website.
- Increase the number of properties handled by my company and improve my image as the premier property manager of vacation rentals in my locations.
- To reach new visitors, I want to promote good word-of-mouth and social sharing from my previous guests.
Who do you need to speak with?
Once you’ve determined what you want your result to be, consider who you should be forming connections with to assist you to get there. How can you best reach your visitors, and who can assist you enhance your message? Make your point. The travel press will be important, but what are the specific media names for your company? Will it be golf experts, family vacations, luxury titles, or, if your market is smaller, your area press…?
Determine the travel bloggers and celebrities who are already talking with your target visitors. Undertake you need to do some public relations to reach out to possible partners and trustworthy collaborators who can assist you – your local or national tourism boards, competitors?
What more do you have to say?
What should your message say? For example, your message may be…
“Vive la Famille Apartments respects family requirements and is an ideal option for a family visit to Paris.”
“All Vive la Famille Apartments are outfitted with family-friendly furnishings to ensure that your family’s time in Paris is as pleasant and interesting as possible.”
How are you going to get to your destination? (Bridging the Divide)
This is the good stuff. These are referred to as PR strategies. What are you going to do differently to reach your target audiences and eventually accomplish your objectives?
You will have an overall plan, for example, everything we do will promote our objective of developing a trust-based reputation as the first-choice villa agency for tourists to Puglia, Koh Samui, or Fort Lauderdale…
Include press releases (what’s the big deal? ), prospective press tours (ask journalists to test out your experience), thought leadership pieces (how can you let your knowledge shine? ), and social media engagement (start engaging in conversations and getting consistent with your message), Create an easy-to-download press kit for your website, apply for an award, host an event for local partners who can help you spread the word…
There are several inventive and imaginative strategies for getting your company (story) out there.
What does success entail?
Finally, what does success entail? Is everything you do in terms of public relations helping your company’s goals? Continue to ask yourself these questions to avoid becoming distracted or complacent. Planning, perseverance, and a little sweat may all pay off.