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February 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: Please Don't Shoot the Messenger

Let’s Hear It From Innkeepers

Recent Media Coverage

                                   
 

Ask the Pros: Please Don’t Shoot the Messenger

Here’s the situation:
BedandBreakfast.com is frequently called upon to respond to questions from the media about B&Bs. We’re delighted to do so because it helps us get more publicity for the industry in general, and for our member inns in particular.

These writers are usually on tight deadlines, needing immediate answers to difficult questions. When we need innkeeper input and feedback, we either email or telephone you, depending on the timing. Of course, we hate to bother you during busy times as much as you dislike being interrupted. However, these requests come to us from such high-level media as USA TODAY, Forbes, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and network TV, and the chance to feature you and your inn is too good to pass up. So we contact you, hoping you’ll find a little time to help with a story that may introduce your inn to thousands or even millions of viewers or readers.

Recently, a writer from the Bergen Record called, wanting to feature breakfast stories from New Jersey innkeepers; her editor gave her a tight deadline. We emailed innkeepers, urgently requesting recipes and photos. We heard from a few aggravated innkeepers that we should have given them more time to respond. We also heard from several innkeepers who made the request a priority, prepared the recipes, and took photos. The result: the three that went the extra mile will be featured in the story, with coverage that would have cost more than $1,000 if purchased as advertising.

We’ve seen this kind of scenario over and over. A few years ago, when BedandBreakfast.com worked with USA TODAY on a story called “Great Places to Sleep with a Ghost,” we called the 10 innkeepers who were featured and asked for a photo. We caught one innkeeper in the middle of a computer crash after losing all reservation data for the prior three years. Additionally, her mother was ill, and there were guests expected to check in. The last thing she had time for was to drop everything, search for a photo, and send it overnight to USA TODAY. However, she decided it was a worthwhile risk, and she found the photo and sent it. As the reward for her time, her photo commanded more than half the space of the article, offering a distinct advantage to her inn.

What’s the lesson

  • Always be ready with high-resolution photos, press releases, and recipes for the media, so you won’t have to drop everything to respond to press requests.  Use your slow seasons to keep your media materials up-to-date.
  • Remember, the media is always on deadline, even though stories are often delayed. Nevertheless, the early responder is more likely to get the coverage, so be sure to respond on deadline.
  • Take time to present your media response in a professional manner. Print your response on your letterhead, or with a full email signature file, and don’t forget to spell check.
  • Lastly, please don’t shoot the messenger asking for information to meet media deadlines. She is only looking out for your best interest and inclusion in the story.
     

Let’s Hear It From Innkeepers

We really appreciate your support. Here are some of the comments we received last month.

"Thank you for the promotional support you have given our upcoming state B&B association conference. I have received calls from vendors and B&B owners who have found the information on your directory. No wonder BedandBreakfast.com is the No. 1 directory for our industry. Again, thanks"  – Mat Wilkns, Captain Wohlt Inn, Hermann, MO

"We greatly appreciate your selection of our inn [for BedandBreakfast.com's Editors’ List of Best Undiscovered Inns for Romance]. We feel that this is particularly helpful because your website is generally on the first page of search engines whose key words we track. We only know of one other B&B directory that also routinely is found on the first page. Again, many thanks for the confidence you have shown in our B&B. It means a great deal."  – Christie Pope, The Penrose Bed & Breakfast, Sedona, AZ

"You have the best site for BnBers – hands down. Your staff stands above the rest in going the extra mile for those wanting to market as well as sell their B&Bs. Thank you again; I’ll definitely recommend the site."  – Pam, Historic Smyser-Bair House, York, PA

Recent BedandBreakfast.com Media Coverage

BedandBreakfast.com stories resulted in over 21.65 million media impressions from November 2005 through January 2006. If this coverage had been purchased as advertising, the value would exceed $39,000. Here is some recent coverage:

Sandy Soule and Marti Mayne conducted many radio interviews throughout the country, appearing live on shows including
Long Island’s Dating, a live talk show heard worldwide over the Internet via streaming audio, and Travel with Terry Spence covering everything from ideas for last-minute gift givers over the holidays to great affordable winter getaways.  Both Sandy and Marti are scheduled for a series of radio interviews covering great places to find romance over the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.

At the start of the holiday shopping season,
USA TODAY included BedandBreakfast.com in a story about shopping getaways for thrifty holidays, saying “
BedandBreakfast.com lists specials at member inns nationwide, including holiday and shopping promotions.” Log in and post your specials today!

When it came to holiday gift giving, media throughout the country recommended BedandBreakfast.com gift certificates. The
Miami Herald told readers: “Give rest, relaxation and a memory. Many travel companies offer getaway gift certificates. Among them: BedandBreakfast.com, which can be redeemed at 3,000 lodgings worldwide at www.BedandBreakfast.com.” The Houston Chronicle said that BedandBreakfast.com gift certificates are the perfect last-minute gift.

BedandBreakfast.com stories showed up in magazines, too. Millionaire Blueprints included BedandBreakfast.com as a great innkeeper resource in a story about subletting in the city; Doctors Review included BedandBreakfast.com as a good resource for finding B&Bs in San Juan and on Cape Cod. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine recommended BedandBreakfast.com for 11th-hour B&B getaways, suggesting that readers sign up for weekly Hot Deals. Palm Springs Life magazine covered inns named in the Best of BedandBreakfast.com Awards.

Recently, BedandBreakfast.com released its annual list of the Best Undiscovered Inns for Romance, which was picked up off the newswire by television stations throughout the country:
KCBD, News Channel 11 in Texas; KVOA in Tucson; and Michigan’s WNEM. The Seattle Times, The Dallas Morning  News and Ventura County Star also posted the story on their websites.  Yahoo! News and Forbes.com, among other prominent websites, carried the story, too.

This Month's Sponsor

Online Trade Show

Click to visit our newest vendor member:
Emz Blendz Soap Co. -- Handcrafted soap and bath products, with fresh and natural ingredients. Handmade soap is significantly different from its machine-made counterpart. Your guests are sure to appreciate and enjoy natural soap that is good for their skin and comforting to use. Custom labeling is easily available. BedandBreakfast.com members get 10 percent off the first order.

More vendor info...

Online Reservations

Gift Certificates

More travelers than ever before received BedandBreakfast.com Gift Certificates in 2005. These lucky folks may soon be new guests at one of the 3,200 U.S. BedandBreakfast.com member inns that welcome our gift certificates. To join the participating inns, just log in to your home base with your property ID and password, or click here for more information.

Traffic statistics

Log in with your property ID and password for details on the number of page impressions and click-throughs your B&B has received as a result of all BedandBreakfast.com online marketing, including property listings, Featured Property, and Inn of the Month advertising. More information

Member Information

To update your entry, post specials, and renew your membership, please log in with your property ID and password. Can't remember 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 to Home Base, just click "Membership," select "Change Password" ( No. 7 in dropdown menu), and choose another that's easier to remember. More information

Inns for Sale

“You have the best site for BnBers – hands down. Your staff stands above the rest in going the extra mile for those wanting to market as well as sell their B&Bs. Thank you again; I’ll definitely recommend the site.” Pam, Historic Smyser-Bair House, York, PA Read more...

Innkeepers Information Center

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


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