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October 2007

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
Let's Hear it from Innkeepers
Recent Media Coverage
Ask the Pros

Current and Upcoming Publicity: September
We distributed the following press releases in September:

9/26/2007: GREAT PLACES TO SLEEP WITH A GHOST: BedandBreakfast.com's 2007 Roundup of Bootiful and Spirited B&Bs. BedandBreakfast.com has compiled an extensive list of haunted B&Bs. We’re sure there are even more spirited tales out there – so don’t hold out any longer – it’s time to give up the ghost! If you haven’t done already, please send info on the ghostly events at your B&B to Marti@BedandBreakfast.com.

9/19/2007: THE BEST OF BEDANDBREAKFAST.COM AWARDS: BedandBreakfast.com Reviews Determine Best B&Bs Worldwide. The Best of BedandBreakfast.com Awards were based upon both the quality and quantity of reviews posted on the site. BedandBreakfast.com staff read thousands of reviews to ascertain winners, and were impressed with the time and information offered by B&B guests. Be sure to read the feature article this month with suggestions on how you can generate reviews for your B&B, and remember in this world of the people’s Internet, reviews equal reservations, and in BedandBreakfast.com’s case, awards too.

Pancakes with Personality®
Thanks to all those who entered the Pancakes with Personality contest. More than 100 recipes, photos, chef profiles and pancake-making tips were submitted from innkeepers throughout the United States. The judges are reviewing recipes now and will choose the semi-finalists, who will go into round two of judging. From there, two finalists will be selected to participate in a cook-off. BedandBreakfast.com will work with TV, print, magazine and Internet media to highlight the winning recipes and pancake chefs. Stay tuned to future issues of the Innkeeper News for updates on winners.

Let’s Hear it from Innkeepers
“We have been members of BedandBreakfast.com for many years and have found it to be an excellent source of information for potential guests. Thanks for making your site so easy for customers to navigate and find us.” -- Judy Loebel, Ivory Creek Bed and Breakfast Inn, Hadley, MA

Recent BedandBreakfast.com Media Coverage
In August, Carol Stotti from The Washington Post included BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks a Lot program in her syndicated column about Travel Deals. Beyond the Washington Post, the story ran throughout the county in newspapers including The Buffalo News, Sunday (Newark, NJ) Star Ledger, Staten Island Sunday Advance, Las Cruces Sun News (New Mexico) and Macon, GA, Telegraph. BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks a Lot program has garnered millions of impressions and stories every month since it launched in March. It’s not too late to benefit from the publicity; simply post your Tanks a Lot special under Free Gas Promotion on BedandBreakfast.com.

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 appropriate offers for Free Gas Promotion and spring packages. Bronze member? Please click here to upgrade.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer included ideas for great B&B getaways for fall foliage in both their blog and printed paper. The story mentioned nearby Shady Oaks Farm B&B along with the Birchwood Inn in Lenox, MA, the White River Lodge in Blue Eye, MO, Wildflowers Inn in North Conway, NH, and Friends Lake Inn in Chestertown, NY. All these B&Bs featured in BedandBreakfast.com’s story about great B&Bs for leaf peeping.

Word of BedandBreakfast.com’s suggestions for Great Places to Sleep with a Ghost got immediate worldwide pick up, including the Brisbane Times. This time of the year BedandBreakfast.com’s Sandy Soule is high in demand among radio stations looking for experts on haunted inns and B&Bs. She’s already completed interviews with a nationally syndicated radio show about great places to sleep with a ghost.

The BedandBreakfast.com Awards have quickly garnered white space for winners, through BedandBreakfast.com’s publicity campaign along with the local and regional efforts for winners. The Times Picayune mentioned the Avenue Inn B&B both online and in the paper. The Terra Nova House’s Best Overall in the U.S. honor was mentioned in the Pittsburg Post Gazette, and the Sobotta Manor was included in a story in the Winston-Salem Journal. Tom and Anita Potts from the South Court Inn shared that they sent a press release about their award to regional media: “So far we have had calls from two radio stations and a very nice story in the Harrisonburg, VA, Daily News Record. Additional stories about the Best of BedandBreakfast.com Awards appear daily.

Four Victorian inns including the Garth Woodside Mansion, Hummingbird Inn, White Lace Inn and Arsenic & Old Lace, appeared in a nine-page feature story filled with color photos in Country Victorian magazine. BedandBreakfast.com worked with editors of the magazine to feature these inns and a BedandBreakfast.com gift certificate giveaway. Readers were sent to BedandBreakfast.com for information about additional inns and B&Bs.

BedandBreakfast.com sponsored a prize on Wheel of Fortune. Click here to see the video.

Ask the Pros: How do we know whether a travel writer is legitimate? Recently a travel writer contacted us, asking for all four of our guest rooms for two nights. How do I know she’s legit?

A: This question arises frequently at PR workshops and on Internet forums. Here are a number of steps you can take to determine if a travel writer is legit.

  1. Check on the writer's credentials via a Google or Yahoo search. Your CVB or chamber of commerce may be members of a travel writer's association and can check to see if a writer is credentialed. If possible, sign up to provide lodging for visiting writers whose credentials have been established.

  2. Ask the writer for a letter of assignment from the publication they claim to represent.

  3. Ask for copies of previous articles or clips.

  4. Ask when the story will be published.

  5. Most importantly, ask if your property will be included in the story and how. Be sure to mention that your phone number and website should be included.

Stuff happens: Sometimes a writer will research and write a story, it’s accepted for publication, and then it gets canceled or postponed due to breaking news or budgetary concerns. Believe me, as a travel writer, this is a huge disappointment. Please understand that there is no guarantee that if you host a writer the story will definitely appear. Often circumstances out of the control of the writer occur to preclude the story from appearing.

Media policy: Establish a media policy that you can fall back on when questionable requests are received. For example, decide that a writer may bring only one guest and rooms will not be available to travel writers during peak times. You can always make exceptions, but it will give you a baseline to work from.

Comps: We strongly encourage you to offer free rooms to legitimate travel writers on a space available basis. Although paying guests are always the top priority, putting a travel writer in a room that would otherwise go unsold is a risk-free way to get publicity. Only a tiny number of writers are prohibited from accepting comps, and they won’t be insulted by your invitation. Professional travel writers will never ask for the whole inn, and will usually be flexible about staying when you have openings. Only a handful of writers have expense accounts that enable them to travel anonymously – they are prohibited by company policy from accepting free or discounted rooms. Best to remember this advice from Monty Turner (Run of the River, Leavenworth, WA): “Treat all guests like travel writers; treat all travel writers like guests.”

Rule of thumb: If you have an available room that you’re unlikely to sell, host a travel writer. While nothing may come of it, many times a story will eventually appear that will feature your inn. If you are contacted by a travel writer and have questions about their legitimacy, feel free to contact me at Marti@BedandBreakfast.com.

This Month's Sponsor

Internet Intensives

BedandBreakfast.com, RezOvation and Inns.com are hitting the road to bring you current and comprehensive information about Internet marketing, online reservations, yield management, and property management software.

Click here to see upcoming Intensives and more information.

Referral Program

What’s better than three month’s free membership? How about six months? Or a whole year? Refer fellow innkeepers to BedandBreakfast.com, and if they join at the Silver level or above, your membership will be extended by three months for each B&B that signs up. If four B&Bs sign up, your membership is free for a year!  For details, log in to your Home Base and click Referral Program under Free Member Benefits, or call 800-GO-B-AND-B (800-462-2632).

Gift Card Reseller Program

"I was thrilled when I heard about the program. As far as guests are concerned, it's much nicer for them to buy something they can use everywhere!" -- Julie Becker, Byrn-Roberts Inn, Murfreesboro, TN

“The gift cards are simple to activate. It was so fast, I couldn't believe it!” -- Merrie Hammond, Asa Cline House B&B, Yellow Spring, WV

The BedandBreakfast.com Gift Card Reseller Program is here! Click here for details. If you'd like to receive a free reseller kit, contact us at 800-462-2632 or Support@BedandBreakfast.com.

"This is an excellent site. Just wish I could figure out how to tell my children about the gift certificates without seeming obvious. It would be a great gift for us." Bonnie D.


Online Trade Show

Visit our vendor members!

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. 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

"BedandBreakfast.com has been our #1 B&B directory referrer for the past few years. I really enjoy the service they provide and the extras that they do for B&Bs like the Online Reservations program and the Gift Certificate program. The Gift Certificates have been really popular with our guests." Jennifer Macgillonie, The English Inn, Port Townsend, WA

Inns for Sale

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

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