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July/August 2006

Promoting the Industry

Marti Mayne

Our goal is to generate great publicity for BedandBreakfast.com members specifically, and for the B&B industry as a whole. In this issue we cover:

 

Ask the Pros: Responding to Publicity Leads

Let’s Hear It From Innkeepers

Recent Media Coverage

The recent coverage of BedandBreakfast.com’s gas special has created quite a buzz in the media, from USA TODAY to CNN. When we get a call from interested media, we send them to BedandBreakfast.com’s Free Gas Specials, where more than 200 members from 33 states have posted specials. Be sure to post your Free Gas Special, and be a part of BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks a Lot Program.

Silver-level members and above may post specials; simply log in with your Property ID and password. Select Specials from the table in your Home Base. Enter your offer for free gas via discounted stays, gas cards, or other creative offers under Free Gas Promotion. Some innkeepers have taken it a step further by creating specials to reward those driving hybrids, carpooling, or traveling in environmentally friendly ways. If your offer expired in June, extend it for the fall months or through the holidays to be most effective in attracting new business.
                                 

Ask the Pros: Responding to Publicity Leads

Question: “What’s the best way to respond to a publicity lead so we are included in the story?”

Response: Good question! A publicity lead informs you when a travel journalist is researching a story, offering you the chance to respond with timely and pertinent information. You can strike while the iron is hot, informing the media about your unique B&B rather than sending blind emails and hoping your news will be of interest.

Publicity leads are regularly posted on BedandBreakfast.com. To find the most recent ones posted, simply log in with your Property ID and password, then click on Publicity Leads in the grid on your Home Base.

While there are no guarantees, here are some ways to improve your chances that a journalist will read and include your response.

Rules of the Road to Answer Publicity Leads

Rule #1: Respond to publicity leads immediately; the writer is usually on deadline. The early bird gets the white space.

Rule #2: Be concise, and stick to the information requested. Your answer should completely answer the question and pique the writer's interest in no more than 150 words.

Rule #3: Do NOT send the journalist to your website for more information; list your website as a resource.

Rule #4: Your response should contain your unique selling points. Weave what makes you different from other B&Bs into your answer.

Rule #5: Your response should contain a complete signature, including your:

  • Name(s)

  • Complete address – both physical and mailing

  • City, state, ZIP

  • Phone number

  • Email address

  • Website

  • Tag line or accolades


Rule #6: Check spelling and grammar.

Rule #7: Go back and re-read your response – does it set you apart? Does it answer the question? Does it include all relevant information for inclusion in the article?

Rule # 8: Send the response to the right person!

Rule # 9: If you’re an expert on something, offer your advice. Don’t underestimate your expertise. As innkeepers, you’re experts on small business management, culinary adventure, housekeeping, gardening, entertaining, financial planning, and much, much more.

Rule #10: Save the information from publicity leads, and use the addresses to grow your media list.

Let’s Hear It From Innkeepers
We always appreciate hearing from innkeepers and are grateful for your support. Here’s a wonderful comment we heard after the innkeeper read a feature story in Westchester Magazine by Rose Ciccone, Associate Editor of BedandBreakfast.com:

“BedandBreakfast.com and Rose Ciccone really did us proud…WOW…see the lead article in this month's Westchester Magazine!” - The Inn at Bowman’s Hill, New Hope, PA


Recent BedandBreakfast.com Media Coverage
The coverage of BedandBreakfast.com’s gas offers has continued, attracting media attention from all corners of the country. In fact, recently, USA TODAY included BedandBreakfast.com in a story about how savvy marketers are attracting customers with gas offers.
 


BedandBreakfast.com’s gas offers with links to BedandBreakfast.com’s specials have been included in stories from the Indianapolis Star and The Republican in Springfield, MA, with quotes such as: “Nationwide, it appears that bed and breakfasts continue to lead the lodging industry in perks for drivers financially wounded by gasoline costs. Now B&Bs in 32 states have joined a ‘Tanks a Lot’ promotion with various offerings…For a complete list of all B&Bs participating in the BedandBreakfast.com Tanks a Lot promotion, go to www.BedandBreakfast.com and click on the link to Free Gas Promotion under Specials on the left side of the page…”

The Orlando Sentinel claimed, “B&Bs want to give you gas” in their headline, and continued on to say, “The price of gasoline will be a major factor in planning road-trip budgets for summer. So a group of bed-and-breakfasts around the country is offering a promotion to help put a few bucks back in their guests' wallets. The 'Tanks a Lot' gas-rebate program, available from New Hampshire to California, offers a variety of incentives to hit the road, including gas cards and rate discounts…”

Travel Weekly claimed, “Nearly 200 inns and B&Bs, members of BedandBreakfast.com, are participating in the network’s Tanks a Lot promotion by providing gas cards, credits or other schemes for subsidizing fuel costs. As of this month, the typical subsidy ranged from $25 to $50, though a few were as high as $80. Promotions are offered for varying time periods. Some offers end as early as June 30; others run through the year, but those generally require weekday stays and black out holidays…” The article then went on to mention a number of members’ specials.

BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks a Lot coverage has garnered more than 64.2 million impressions since April. If purchased as advertising, the value of this coverage would be more than $50,000.

The media knows that travelers do not live by gas specials alone, and BedandBreakfast.com garnered additional media coverage, promoting the site as the best source for B&B travel information.


Readers looking for unusual lodging properties were sent to BedandBreakfast.com by Budget Travel Online. The magazine also posted their recommendation on CNN.com.

A Montreal Gazette story about B&B escapes on the web told readers that  BedandBreakfast.com should be the first stop and includes nice description of the site. The Washington Post included BedandBreakfast.com in a story about finding a room at the right price.

This Month's Sponsor

Gift Certificates

Click here to read recent comments from gift certificate purchasers. One purchaser says:

"Love it! It was very helpful to see exactly where participating B&Bs are located. I read reviews from other sites that recommended your service highly. This makes the perfect gift to thank my in-laws for paying for our wedding!
"

Wedding season is upon us! Are you missing out? To join the participating inns, just log in to your Home Base, or click here for more information.
 

Internet Intensives

BedandBreakfast.com, RezOvation and Expedia, Inc. are hitting the road to bring you comprehensive information about Internet marketing, online reservations, yield management, and property management software. Please join us for these workshops and for an Innkeepers' Appreciation Luncheon. Read more...

Online Trade Show

Click here to view our Online Trade Show. Are you a vendor? Click here to get featured!

Advertising Auctions

Featured Property and Inn of the Month auctions are easy, affordable and effective ways to drive traffic to your website.

Member Information

To update your entry, check your traffic statistics, and renew your membership, please log in with your property ID and password. Forgot your password? Click here, then enter your property ID and we'll email it to you. Don't like your password? Once you're logged in, click "Membership," select "Change Password," and choose another that's easier to remember. More information

Inns for Sale

Innkeepers' Info Center

Need more info? You’ll find lots of educational articles on our site for your convenience.


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