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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
Find us on Facebook and Twitter

 

 

Current and Upcoming Publicity: March - May 2009

BedandBreakfast.com's spring publicity has focused on travel trends and travel recession busters:

03/26/09
B&Bs OFFER RECESSION RELIEF WITH “TANKS FOR TRAVELING” OFFERS
From free gas to free dinners, plus discounts, gifts and spa treatments, B&Bs worldwide entice travelers with reasons to choose bed and breakfasts this year

03/19/09
BEDandBREAKFAST.COM SURVEY SHOWS TRAVELERS PLAN AS MANY OR MORE TRIPS THIS SUMMER AND ARE TWICE AS LIKELY TO STAY AT B&Bs
Three out of four travelers say they’ll take as many or more trips between now and September 30, and eight out of 10 say they’ll stay at B&Bs

03/10/09
BEDandBREAKFAST.COM HELPS CONSUMERS LEFT AFFECTED BY CERTIFICHECK BANKRUPTCY
Redeem unusable CertifiChecks for a 25% discount on BedandBreakfast.com Gift Cards or Online Reservations

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: We know we say it over and over, but we repeat our photo mantra each month because it is such an important part of promoting our members. 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 here, replace the winter photos with visions of spring and summer; don’t be afraid to add photos with people enjoying your inn!

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 releases will cover Active Military Offers and a salute to our troops, just in time for Memorial Day. We salute all those who’ve posted an offer for active military and/or first-responders, and encourage those who haven’t yet done so, to post a special ASAP. We’ll be sending the media to the BedandBreakfast.com Specials pages to find offers from their regions.

Additionally, we’ve renamed our annual Tanks a Lot promotion, Tanks for Traveling, to include offers beyond free gas. More than 150 value-rich offers encouraging B&B travel this spring and summer have been posted, but it’s not too late to add yours. We will continue to promote Tanks for Traveling specials throughout the summer as the media seeks “recession heroes” in this difficult time. Read more on this topic below under Ask The Pros.

We are still on the hunt for Tech-Savvy B&Bs: If Marriott can add WiiTM 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’ve heard from a few tech-savvy B&Bs, but we need to hear from a few more in order to create a press release. 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 May 15. If we can find 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: Why bother to create packages like Tanks for Traveling?

As innkeepers know too well, the times “they are a changin,’” as the famous folk song describes. Customers want more value for less money as they struggle to make vacation plans. Travel expert Peter Yesawich of the Y Partnership recently summarized the factors that might make travelers change their minds about travel:

EXPECTED CHANGE IN TRAVEL PLANS AMONG ACTIVE TRAVELERS WHO ARE LIKELY TO CHANGE PLANS

More likely to:
Book package to save money 87%
Spend less overall 84%
Comparison shop online 64%
Take more day trips 64%
Stay fewer nights 51%

 

Almost nine out of 10 active travelers mentioned they’d book a package to save money, which is why BedandBreakfast.com is committed to branding the value of a B&B vacation through its Tanks for Traveling campaign.

Six years ago, BedandBreakfast.com launched its Tanks a Lot program in response to gas price increases. This program has elicited a greater response than any other BedandBreakfast.com promotion, garnering hundreds of millions of public impressions, a value close to $500,000. Tanks for Traveling addresses today’s recession concerns, and expands the program beyond just gas offers. As you’ll see below, we’ve already had good media response to this promotion, and we expect that media attention will build as additional offers are added to the Tanks for Traveling list. It’s not too late to add your special to the Tanks for Traveling promotion. If you haven’t already created one, be sure to post your Tanks for Traveling promotion today.

If you’re already a “recession hero” with a Tanks for Traveling offer, let the local media know! With nine of 10 travelers looking for a motivating travel package, the media is seeking great packages. Tell them about yours! We’re making it easy for you. Below you will find a fill-in-the-blanks press release that you can customize for your B&B. Insert the information indicated in CAPS; make sure all fonts are consistent, and proofread before you send to local and regional media. Don’t forget to end this release with your full signature, including your name, address, phone and website.

For Immediate Release – INSERT THE DATE
Contact: INSERT INNKEEPER’S NAME, PHONE AND EMAIL

INSERT THE NAME OF YOUR B&B joins hundreds of inns worldwide to say “Tanks” for Traveling

YOUR CITY, STATE – INSERT THE NAME OF YOUR B&B joins nearly 200 inns and B&Bs throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, in BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks for Traveling promotion to stimulate B&B travel this summer. INSERT THE NAME OF YOUR B&B is offering a package including INSERT YOUR OFFER for $ - INSERT THE COST OF THE PACKAGE, to encourage recession-weary travelers hoping to maintain summer travel plans. Knowing that nine out of 10 travelers are seeking value-added packages, INSERT THE NAME OF YOUR B&B is working hard along with other innkeepers to encourage B&B travel this year.

“We’re doing everything we can to respond to traveler’s needs this year,” stated INSERT INNKEEPER’s NAME, owner of INSERT THE NAME OF YOUR B&B. “Our Tanks for Traveling offer is designed to add extra value to the amenities, complimentary breakfast, refreshments, and Wi-Fi we already offer our guests,” finished INSERT INNKEEPER’s NAME.

For the sixth year in a row, BedandBreakfast.com's members are rewarding value-conscious B&B travelers with offers to fuel spring and summer vacations. Dubbed “Tanks for Traveling”, BedandBreakfast.com members are putting money where guests need it most -- into their gas tanks, their stomachs, and back into their wallets. Knowing that travelers are increasingly interested in traveling green and saving some too, BedandBreakfast.com members have crafted a number of creative offers to reward guests and say "tanks". B&Bs in nearly 40 states, the Caribbean, Canada, Italy, France, and Croatia have created nearly 200 money-saving deals for inngoers. For a complete list of participating inns, go to www.BedandBreakfast.com and click the fuel gauge graphic in the center of the screen. To get these great offers, be sure to mention the BedandBreakfast.com Tanks for Traveling promotion.

INSERT A PARAGRAPH HERE ABOUT YOUR B&B AND ITS UNIQUE SELLING POINTS.

To learn more about INSERT THE NAME OF YOUR B&B, or to book the Tanks for Traveling offer, visit INSERT YOUR WEBSITE or call INSERT YOUR PHONE NUMBER.

# # #

 

 

Let's Hear it from the Media

Travel expert and Today show Travel Producer Peter Greenberg highlighted BedandBreakfast.com’s list of B&Bs with ties to the Underground RR in a February newsletter .

BedandBreakfast.com’s CertifiChecks press release was chosen as the Press Release of the Week by E-Releases News Distribution founder and CEO, Mickie Kennedy. In his blog, Kennedy said “Recently, Dayton, Ohio-based CertifiChecks Inc. filed for bankruptcy. Just another casualty of these uncertain economic times. A recent press release from BedandBreakfast.com jumped on this news by offering to redeem CertifiChecks at a discount. That’s a pretty bold offer and great way of leapfrogging on another company’s bad news.

"Eric Goldreyer, CEO of BedandBreakfast.com, was quoted in the press release: ‘We hope our offer will make it easier for folks holding these certificates. B&Bs are affordable, local, and make for a great getaway. It’s a shame if people have to scrap their plans because of CertifiCheck’s bankruptcy.’ Whether or not this press release creates serious media attention, it sends a strong message of integrity and creates media goodwill. A core message throughout many of BedandBreakfast.com’s press releases are that B&Bs are an affordable getaway alternative. This press release continues to enforce that message. That’s why BedandBreakfast.com gets my vote as Best Press-Release-of-the-Week™."

 

 

Recent BedandBreakfast.com Media Coverage

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.

Here are some of the highlights from media coverage in February, March and April:

Valentine’s Day Coverage:
The LA Times Blog included a suggestion to buy a BedandBreakfast.com gift card online in its advice to romantic procrastinators. Additionally, Peter Greenberg included Jackson, NH’s Whitney’s Inn Chairlift Speed Dating event in its story about Unusual Valentine’s Day Fun.

CertifiChecks bailout
When Dayton, OH-based CertifiChecks declared bankruptcy, BedandBreakfast.com offered to exchange unredeemed checks for discounts on gift cards and online reservations. The press release outlining this program received huge media coverage with more than 170 articles posted online at TV stations, magazines, websites, and newspapers with a collective audience of more than 47.5 million viewers per day. The story was posted on AOL Finance, the Atlanta Business Journal, Forbes.com, New Mexico Business Weekly, Reuters International News Source, Travel Industry Today, and many additional places.

Tanks for Traveling
We distributed the Tanks for Traveling press release in late March and immediately had more than 170 online stories throughout North America and into Australia, Belgium, and India with more than 100 million visitors per day. Pickup on the story included articles on YahooFinance.com and YahooCanada.com, San Francisco Business Journal, Wall Street Journal Marketwatch and numerous other media.

BedandBreakfast.com survey offers optimism
BedandBreakfast.com distributed a survey to 37,000 travelers who opted into BedandBreakfast.com’s list. The results were summarized in a press release that offered optimism about summer travel. Stories mentioning BedandBreakfast.com’s survey appeared in the Washington Times and Columbus Dispatch, where Marti Mayne was quoted. A story outlining many of the eco-friendly Tanks for Traveling offers also appeared on DigitalCity.com.

Coverage resulting from working directly with reporters
BedandBreakfast.com was included in a story called “It’s Your Money” on Charlotte, NC’s WCNC.

Additionally, just to show what legs the 2008 Tanks a Lot promotion had, Woman’s Day magazine listed BedandBreakfast.com as a great source for free gas offers in its April 2009 issue.

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

 

 

Find us on Facebook and Twitter

We have a Facebook Fan Page! Travelers are uploading their B&B photos, writing articles about their stays, and sharing their opinions on B&B travel. Join the discussion!

You can also follow us on Twitter: @bandb_com.

Meet Bevin Gaines, the voice of BedandBreakfast.com on our company Facebook and Twitter pages:

Bevin Gaines has been with BedandBreakfast.com for about nine months and comes to us from The McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas with an MBA in Marketing. An avid traveler, Bevin has explored several countries including Costa Rica, Egypt and Canada, but insists that there’s nothing like the Southern hospitality that you’ll find in her hometown, Atlanta.

"Maintaining our social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook and Flickr) gives me an opportunity to 'meet' innkeepers and understand what keeps them motivated, what their challenges are and to get more insight into the changes that are happening in the industry from the inn level. It’s also just fun to share pictures, jokes and tips with innkeepers and inngoers.

Bevin says it's important for innkeepers to be involved in social media because consumers have been sold to for decades, and they're now ready for an honest dialogue about their needs, wants and options. "Innkeepers need to be a part of this conversation in order to know what their customers really want and how those wants can be fulfilled," Bevin says.

"Social media networks are the best "recommendation engines" available. Having BedandBreakfast.com become a trusted name in the social media space means that the recommendations that we make will be trusted by the rest of the social media community. The more often that we can prove our knowledge of the B&B industry and make valuable recommendations to consumers, the more often we will be able to steer consumers to make B&B reservations. This is just one more way for us to campaign on behalf of our members. "

 

 

This Month's Sponsor

Increase reservations and save money!

The BedandBreakfast.com Reviews Widget:

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  • Lets you decide which reviews are published.
  • Could win you $1,000 cash!

Add the reviews widget to your website by May 31, and you'll be entered into a drawing to win $1,000 cash! Plus, each month a review is posted to your paidl isting, we'll credit you $5 toward your membership!

Log in to your Home Base and click Reviews Widget to create your customized widget in a few easy steps.

Inns for Sale

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.

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  • Newly designed listing pages, with large photos, links, and great content.
  • Excellent search engine optimization.
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  • 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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