Partners in Crime - Creative approaches to cooperative marketing
More Than Just Wrapping and a Bow - Innovative packages that sell!
A Proís Prose - Using impactful language to sell your business
Insights Into Public Relations - Ideas that can be utilized by businesses of all sizes to generate white space
Internet Marketing - Down and dirty tactics for reaching the masses
Cooperative Marketing With InnKeepers - Inn to inn itineraries & strategies
Last Minute Travel, Packaging, Personalized Internet Communications - Strategies to address today's travel trends
Staulking The Elusive Publicity Lead - Where to find the right travel writers to write your story.
- pick two!
Resources and Advice Continued:
The Basic Press Kit
- Print all press releases on your letterhead.
- Include all necessary contact information - your name, your phone number, your address and your website.
- Read over press releases and remember to spell check. If you have a grammar check function, run your releases through that too.
- Press kits can be as simple as a two-pocket folder with a label, or as elaborate as a bound notebook. Staples and other office supply stores have lovely folders. Admore (www.admoredirect.com) can custom print lovely presentation folders.
Basic Press Releases for Your Press Kit
A general press release describing the attributes of your B&B: Be sure to cover the following:
- Your unique selling points --Your unique selling point is not necessarily your great hospitality, your beautifully decorated rooms or your great breakfasts, because most B&Bs offer those features. Your unique selling point is what sets you apart from every other B&B that the media hears about on a daily basis.
- A press release covering the history of your B&B: Include the history of your B&B, including your B&B's name. An important part of your B&B's history is your own story. Include a little about your own background, and the events that led up to your purchasing the B&B.
- A press release about your B&B's architecture, amenities & rooms: Include all your inn's special features in this release. Some properties have wonderful architectural features, others have lakes, fountains, gardens, or sleek landscaping features. Still others have beautiful interior features such as faux painting, art collections or in-home theaters. You will want to include a description of those in this release. If your exterior and interior features are considerable, then this press release should focus on those attributes. If not, then include a description of each of your guest rooms and common areas. You may handle the room descriptions in one of two ways -- either provide a list of each guest room and its description as a separate release, or include it here.
- A release about your area, and what guests do when they stay with you: This is an important release, because your location and what it offers is the reason most guests choose you. If you're in Missouri, for example, and are located in wine country, explain which wineries are near you. If you're on the Lewis & Clark, KATY or Santa Fe trails, explain why someone should choose your B&B to enjoy the history and outdoor adventure in the area. If you're near golf courses, museums, even a large city or a rural location, explain the things people can do when they stay with you.
- A press release about your food: Every B&B has a story about their great breakfasts. Tell it here. Describe what is included in your breakfast, and describe some of your B&B's signature dishes. You will include recipes later in this kit. If you serve tea or other refreshments in the afternoons or evenings, describe that here too. Are you renowned for your chocolate truffles or your warm chocolate chip cookies? Let the reader know in this release. Do you serve afternoon tea? That's another important aspect to mention.
- Include 2 - 3 of your signature recipes: Make sure they're printed on your letterhead, and that each recipe is offered in a consistent format. While you're at it, make sure to include your recipes on the special recipe pages of B&B directories, such as BedandBreakfast.com and BBonline.com.
- Include your packages: If you offer any seasonal or year-round offers, such as Last Minute Specials, include a full description of the package in this release. Include all packages in one release. Make sure full rate information is included in this release about your packages too.
- Include a fact sheet with this information:
- The inn's name and complete address
- The inn's phone number - both the local number and toll free number
- Your email address and website
- The innkeeper(s) name(s)
- Distance from major cities
- Closest airport
- Include your brochure.
- Include at least one reproducible picture, slide or line drawing of your B&B: Ideally, your photography will be professionally shot. If you do not have at least one professionally shot picture of the B&B, send your best photo. If you have more than one good photo or slide, include them all. If you have shots of the dishes you've described in your recipes, even better! Do not expect to get any photography back, so do not send your original photos, negatives, transparencies, or slides. Make sure you have an ample supply of your best photos. Because photos may be separated from the rest of the package (i.e. sent to the art department), make sure your name, the B&B's name, and your address (including your phone number) is affixed to the photo or slide. Never use a felt-tipped pen to label your photos. If your photos are digital, you can include a CD, but make sure that the photos have been saved on that CD in a high-resolution format (at least 300dpi .if file).
The More Elaborate Press Kit
Other elements that will enhance your press kit include the following:
- Functions & Weddings: If your B&B seeks to host small functions, retreats or weddings, include a release with details about what you provide. A few quotes from those who've held functions at your B&B are helpful. Additionally, if your prices are set, include some price information. If prices are negotiable, then do not include them. Remember, anything you provide can be printed.
- Your niche: No doubt, you're trying to appeal to a certain niche -- some B&Bs are pet-friendly, others are family-friendly, still others are business-oriented. Some offer romantic cabins or suites, others offer cooking schools, train-watching, or Civil War re-enactments, and still others host yearly events. This is your chance to talk about your special niche. Travel writers are looking for information such specific topics as holding family reunions at B&B's, inn to inn hiking or biking, and wine tasting at B&B's. These are the kinds of topics you'll want to describe in this press release, but make sure you tie the release into your own B&B and how staying there will appeal to your niche.
Author's note: This article originated as an E-Marketing Session for Bed & Breakfast Inns of Missouri, and has been expanded since its original presentation.
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