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February/March 2009

Promoting the Industry

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:

Upcoming Publicity for BedandBreakfast.com members

Ask the Pros

Let's Hear it from the Media
Recent Media Coverage

Current and Upcoming Publicity:
January – March 2009
Throughout January and February, BedandBreakfast.com’s publicity has focused on Valentine’s Day, the Underground Railroad, and value vacations. Click the links below to read the press releases.

01/28/09
VALENTINE'S DAY FOR THE LOVE-LOST – 10 GREAT WAYS TO CELEBRATE SINGLEHOOD FROM BEDANDBREAKFAST.COM
From Chairlift Speed Dating to the Southern Comfort Cocktail Tour, the single person’s guide to a Great Valentine’s Day


01/22/09
VALENTINE’S VALUE VACATIONS
BedandBreakfast.com Valentine’s Day packages pull at the heart strings with plenty of complimentary extras


01/21/09
BEDANDBREAKFAST.COM’s ROMANTIC PICKS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY AND BEYOND

01/06/09
B&Bs WITH UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TIES
Commemorate Martin Luther King’s Birthday and Black History Month by staying in places where slaves were welcomed


01/05/09
$200 B&B SAVINGS, PLUS FIVE GREAT B&B GETAWAYS THAT WON’T BREAK THE BANK
B&Bs offer affordable lodgings, great packages, plus $50 BedandBreakfast.com online booking incentives for money-saving winter getaways


12/09/08
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A PRESIDENT TO SLEEP IN THE WHITE HOUSE
Stay in a “White House” B&B and enjoy a positively Presidential getaway


BedandBreakfast.com Blog: Each time an editor visits a BedandBreakfast.com member, trip reports are posted on our blog. Additionally, we’ve added many great photos and stories from innkeepers. Keep the news and photos coming! BedandBreakfast.com editors also love to stay with members when they travel. If you’re interested in hosting us, let Marti Mayne know. You can see where some of us will be by checking the Innkeeper News Calendar; we’d love to post a trip report about your region on the blog.

Change photos often: Media are always on the lookout for timely photos. Photos from your listing pages are often linked to releases posted in the BedandBreakfast.com Press Room, also visited by media worldwide. Most importantly, timely photos on your BedandBreakfast.com page motivate consumers to book. Now that spring is coming, replace the holiday and winter photos with visions of spring and summer. Not sure how to post photos? Click here to log in to your Home Base on BedandBreakfast.com, click Photos under Free Member Benefits, then upload photos following the easy instructions. Don’t forget! If you have high-resolution photos or videos, please post them on BedandBreakfast.com. When the media wants high-res photos and videos, we look for them on BedandBreakfast.com, so be sure to post yours soon.

Coming up: Our next press release covers Presidential Packages. Please be sure to post packages that include visits to Presidential sites or stays in Presidential suites under the Presidential Packages section by clicking the Specials link on your Home Base.

It’s time for the sixth annual BedandBreakfast.com Tanks a Lot promotion! Last year, the editorial coverage generated by this story garnered 56.7 million media impressions with a retail value of more than $50,000, with far more consumer credibility than you could get from paid advertising.

Because gas prices have dropped dramatically since last summer, we’ve re-named this promotion Tanks for Traveling, including offers beyond free gas. We want to collect hundreds of value-rich offers to encourage B&B travel this spring and summer. Your offer might include a free gas card, free dinner for two, or even a free night’s stay (for multi-night stays). With the media abuzz about value in 2009, we expect this story and your offer will receive both consumer and media attention.

The media will be visiting the "Tanks for Traveling" specials on BedandBreakfast.com to learn about all offers, so please add your offer under this category.

We encourage you to post the most clever, value-filled, and/or eco-friendly offer you can; a little humor always captures media attention. To see how creative innkeepers were in the past, take a look at the Tanks a Lot packages from 2007 and 2008. At a minimum, to participate, you must:

  • Offer at least $25 in added value; gas relief can come in the form of gas station gift cards, cash or a discount off the room rate, incentives for mileage traveled to your inn, or additional incentives. Dinners, spa services, or other amenities will work too, along with discounts for multi-night stays, family packages and more. Another approach could be to encourage eco-travel with rewards for carpooling or fuel-efficient cars.

  • Continue the offer at least through the month of June, longer if possible.

  • The offer can be restricted to midweek, non-holiday, multiple-night stays.

Please specify all details of your package, including your "Tanks for Traveling" offer, the validity dates, and whether you welcome children, including rates/ages if applicable. Please post your offer by February 20, 2009. While we regret we won’t be able to include every offer in our press release, we will read them all and include a broad geographic range of packages.

Many “tanks” in advance for posting your packages on BedandBreakfast.com.

Additionally, we are on the hunt for Tech-Savvy B&Bs: If Marriott can add Wii
TM systems to guest rooms, there's no reason B&Bs can't do so too. Do you have computer games available for your guests? Have you added Wii systems to your game rooms or guest rooms (or do you plan to)? Do you have iPod docking stations or other tech-toys for guest use? If so, "Wii" want to hear about it. We're not interested in computers for guest use, unless you've added some new release games or other bells and whistles to it. Please email Marti@BedandBreakfast.com with the details of your tech toys by February 20. If enough inns and B&Bs respond, we'll create a release that's sure to get the media's attention.

To add specials: Click here to log in to your Home Base on BedandBreakfast.com, then click the Specials link to add your packages. Be sure to include all relevant information including rates, validity dates, whether children/pets are welcome, and the costs. (Silver-level members and above may post specials. Bronze member? Please click here to upgrade. Not yet a member? Join today!

Ask the Pros
We’re often asked, “Why bother with public relations?” As the economy tightens, many innkeepers are taking a hard look at the value of their marketing programs. E-Releases.com, a trusted press release distribution service, recently reminded us how important PR campaigns can be. Here’s what they suggest:
 

  • Publicity Builds Credibility
    Publicity buys the one thing advertising never will: credibility. When you get mentioned in a column or article, you gain the trust and respect of readers. That's why so many companies frame their press clippings in lobbies, post copies/scans to their websites, and get reprints to share with potential and existing customers.

  • Press Releases Create Long-Term Goodwill
    Until you fully understand the value of PR, you're likely to treat press releases as a short-term advertising vehicle without recognizing it as a long-term secret weapon. Each press release should act to get your name out there among the media, conveying a newsworthy angle/pitch aimed at stirring some interest. Even when a writer doesn't use your press release, your name gets etched in his or her mind for a future story or idea. When that same writer gets your second or twentieth press release, he or she will already have some familiarization with your company and be much more receptive to your pitch.”


BedandBreakfast.com is committed to branding the B&B experience through a highly visible campaign. In 2008, 630.1 million impressions were made through BedandBreakfast.com’s publicity campaign. If purchased as advertising, this coverage would have cost nearly $1 million. Yet the credibility of a story in a newspaper, on TV, on the Internet or in a magazine is the real payoff to BedandBreakfast.com’s publicity efforts. Study upon study shows that the stories travelers read are far more likely to result in a buying action than advertising.

Let's Hear it from the Media
Kiplingers.com, a trusted personal advice and finance forecasting website, named BedandBreakfast.com among the top 30 travel sites. They said, “To find smaller inns and B&Bs, try Bedandbreakfast.com. It lists extensive details on even the tiniest inns, plus ’hot deals’ in your desired location. And you can search for specific amenities, including pet- and family-friendly features.”

Recent BedandBreakfast.com Media Coverage  
Media coverage over the past two months has ranged from stories in TIME magazine for BedandBreakfast.com members to press releases included on Yahoo! and more. Here are some of the highlights.

Gift Card Coverage: Pauline Frommer, well known guidebook author and travel journalist, appeared on CNN in a segment about romantic Valentine’s Day getaways, suggesting that viewers go to BedandBreakfast.com for gift cards and B&B choices throughout the world.


Independent Traveler included BedandBreakfast.com gift cards in their story about gift ideas for travelers. Additionally, the Gift Giving Guy offered last minute ideas for procrastinating holiday shoppers in a story including BedandBreakfast.com gift cards.

Coverage for White House Inns story: BedandBreakfast.com’s story about White House inns was timed to pique the media’s interest around the Presidential Inauguration. Pickup included a story featured on the home page of travelingmom.com and a feature story in Wandering Educators.com.

Coverage resulting from BedandBreakfast.com's B&Bs with Ties to the Underground RR release: BedandBreakfast.com’s compilation of inns with ties to the Underground RR was featured throughout January. A story in Examiner.com included BedandBreakfast.com’s list of great American homes once part of the Underground Railroad. Additionally, BedandBreakfast.com’s story was posted to Associated Content for pick up by other publications.

Valentine’s Day coverage has been extensive throughout January for BedandBreakfast.com: BedandBreakfast.com created a press release about Value Valentine’s Vacations, offering insight into all of the added value B&Bs include in their Valentine’s packages. This release was picked up widely by Yahoo!, the Wall St Journal Marketwatch, Midland, TX News9West.com and such newspapers as Los Angeles Times and the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Reuters News Service also picked it up and sent it out on their wire.

BedandBreakfast.com partnered with National Geographic Traveler to feature 12 romantic inns and a special promotion on The Getaway Gift Card™ from BedandBreakfast.com. The story went to the 250,000 people on the National Geographic A-List and also will stay on their site for two weeks. Additionally, TIME.com included a number of BedandBreakfast.com members mentioned in the site’s annual press release about great ideas for single Americans on Valentine’s Day.

Best of BedandBreakfast.com Awards: Coverage for Best of BedandBreakfast.com award winners continues. The Granbury Inn was included in a story in the Austin American-Statesman including mention of their Best of BedandBreakfast.com award. The Post-Tribune did a story about Songbird Prairie B&Bs Best of the Midwest Award too.

Coverage resulting from working directly with reporters: Ron Kapon mentioned BedandBreakfast.com’s donations to eco groups and listed eco-friendly inns in a story about eco-lodging sent to Everywhere Magazine, Bergen County Magazine, and The Fifty Best, Resident newspaper Group. Smarter Travel included BedandBreakfast.com in a story about great deals for B&B consumers, and BedandBreakfast.com’s innkeeper survey was mentioned in a press release distributed by Vacation Rental Hotspots.

WashingtonPost.com quoted Marti Mayne of BedandBreakfast.com extensively in a story about getting the best hotel room for the best price. Marti Mayne and Brooke Ferencsik from TripAdvisor were the two experts mentioned throughout the story.

Don’t forget to set Google News Alerts to monitor coverage of your inn.
 

This Month's Sponsor

Reviews = Reservations

No doubt about it: travelers want reviews, and they are more likely to stay at an inn that has reviews posted. An easy way to get more reviews on your listing is to add a reviews widget (one version shown below) to your website. Log in to your Home Base and click Reviews Widget for more details.

Inns for Sale -- NEW!

Inns for Sale has been redesigned!

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER: Sign up for three months, and get three months free! Contact us for details. 800-GO-B-AND-B, Support@BedandBreakfast.com.

New features include:

  • Newly designed listing pages, with large photos, links, and great content.

  • Highly qualified traffic!

  • Excellent search engine optimization.

  • Ongoing marketing support.

  • 24/7 access to update listings and photos.

  • Interactive map search.

  • Video upload.
     

Check it out! Contact us for details: 800-G0-B-AND-B or Support@BedandBreakfast.com.

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