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
Ask the Pros: Organizing Your Press List
Let’s Hear It From Innkeepers
Recent Media Coverage
Ask the Pros:
Organizing Your Press List
of my upcoming projects is organizing my press contact list. I have a file
of scrap paper, notes, lists, labels, emails, etc. and wonder how to
organize it. Shall I just enter all those with email addresses into a
“Press” group? Or is it still preferable to mail? Shall I group contacts
according to media or region?” – Craig Cox, Riverbend Inn, Chocorua, NH
there’s no guaranteed way to get the media to read and use your press
release. After polling countless media, most prefer to get information by
email, but some prefer faxes, and others want a hard copy. Try to tailor
your releases to the method each media person prefers.
I keep my press lists by subject: bargain writers, family writers, outdoor
writers, romance writers, luxury writers, food editors, travel editors,
business editors, and so on. Additionally, I have a list for every state.
You want to be sure to target your releases to the reporter’s interest.
By organizing them by specialty, it’s easier to send the release to the
If you don’t have an email address for a writer, you’ll need to mail your
release. Color photos really set you apart, so it’s worth spending a little
more money and including photos with your mailed releases (look for sales at
local office supply outlets). One cost-effective trick is to put several
small photos on the first page, so you’re really grabbing them with lots of
“wow” photos. Photocopy the rest of the release in black and white. This
way, you’re only paying for one color copy, yet are still getting the impact
and communicating that you have good photography.
I also often mail and email releases to the editors I really want to
reach, just in case they didn’t get my email. Send the powerful color photos
by mail, and send the text-only version by email.
Remember, you won’t necessarily hear back from a reporter if they get your
email. They may email or call with questions, but if your release is good
enough, i.e. containing all the info it should (who, what, where, when, how
and why is it important to that editor) they’ll simply use the
release for their story. If it’s not of interest, they won’t use it, but
don’t expect them to call you to tell you that.
Follow up with a phone call to the top 10 targeted media outlets for each
story; chances are you’ll find out they never saw it, and then you can send
it again and ask them to be on the lookout for it.
Email Etiquette for Media Mailings
Start the release
with your location and the date.
When you email a
release in bulk, send the release to yourself (or to me) and then use
the BCC tool (blind carbon copy) in your email program for all other recipients. You don’t ever
want the people in your emailed release to see everyone else’s address.
The media has been known to blackball senders for this, and with today’s
strict spam laws, it’s considered illegal sharing.
catchy subject line is essential. Start your subject line with
"PRESS RELEASE" (or
PR), followed by five or six words of very enticing copy. Reporters and editors
get hundreds of emails a day, so be creative.
These days, more
and more busy reporters read email on Blackberries or even sophisticated
cell phones. On these gadgets, a subject will only contain 15
characters, so make sure the first words of your subject line tell the
attachments. Do not imbed graphics or photos in your emailed releases.
Turn off your stationary, and send the release in the body of the email.
Many, many spam filters will automatically grab your email if it has
unwanted graphics or attachments. Mention photos at the end, with a line
like “Fabulous high- or low- resolution photography available for this
story” instead of attaching them to the email.
Let’s Hear It From Innkeepers
We really appreciate your support. Here are some of the comments we received
“I want to thank you for including us in your press release,
Winter B&B Getaways; we know your website has a great
following. Our family packages are very popular, as there is so much here
for kids to do. As soon as I have the summer packages I will send them
along.” – Diane S. Dickerman, The Mountain
Top Inn & Resort, Chittenden VT
“I will take another opportunity to say how much I appreciate the help with
our listing on your site. Janice Hurley is a treasure trove of
information and has great customer focus. Thank you for helping me
improve our listing.” – Marie-Louise LaFond, Barclay Cottage, Virginia
“Trust me; I now know how hard your job is. I have learned that we
innkeepers are not good at letting people know what we do. We are our own
worst enemies at times.” – Nancy Moncrief, Candlelight Inn, North
BedandBreakfast.com Media Coverage
BedandBreakfast.com stories resulted in over 6.25 million media impressions
in February alone. If this coverage had been purchased as advertising, the
value would exceed $18,000. Here is some recent coverage:
Radio listeners love hearing about B&Bs. In February, Sandy Soule conducted
a live on-air interview with KAKL in San Antonio, offering ideas for
the best romantic choices for Valentine’s Day. Additionally, she was
selected as an on-air guest for the syndicated radio show World of Work
and offered a compelling 45-minute interview, answering questions about
innkeeping and offering advice for great Valentine’s Day getaways.
The Capitol Times in Madison, WI, mentioned BedandBreakfast.com, "a
worldwide directory of intimate, owner-operated lodges," and mentioned the
White Gull Inn as a BedandBreakfast.com choice for “Best Undiscovered Inns
for Celebrating Romance.”
Travel With Kids blog listed many of BedandBreakfast.com’s
great places for agritainment (in the press release distributed in
February), including a photo of Buck Ranch Farm.
BedandBreakfast.com worked with members from New Jersey on a story for the
Bergen Record featuring signature recipes and photos highlighting
breakfast dishes. The story directed readers to BedandBreakfast.com’s recipe
section for more fabulous breakfast ideas. Have you submitted your recipes?
Click here to log in to your Home Base. Then click "Recipes" under "Free
Member Benefits" to enter your best dish.
Outside magazine included BedandBreakfast.com in a story about
online travel planning. The Associated Press picked up the story and
included mention of BedandBreakfast.com in their weekly Travel Briefs, sent
to thousands of newspapers around the country. To date, the story has been
picked up by newspapers from
Napa, CA to
This Month's Sponsor
More travelers than ever before received BedandBreakfast.com Gift
Certificates in 2005.
These lucky folks may soon be new guests at your B&B,
you’re participating in the BedandBreakfast.com Gift Certificate
program. Watch for increased gift certificate traffic in the upcoming
To join the participating inns, just
log in to your Home Base, or
for more information.
Online Trade Show
Click here to view our Online Trade Show. Are you a vendor?
Click here to find out how to get featured!
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
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.
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
Innkeepers Information Center
Need more info?
You’ll find lots of educational articles on our site for your convenience.