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September 2008

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 Innkeepers
Recent Media Coverage

Current and Upcoming Publicity:
Fall 2008
Throughout the summer, BedandBreakfast.com’s publicity has focused on the valuable amenities offered by B&Bs, girlfriends getaways, and great fall foliage picks. Click on the headlines below to read the releases created for July and August:

BedandBreakfast.com's Annual 2008 Roundup of Bootiful and Spirited "Dead and Breakfasts"

BedandBreakfast.com's Top B&B Picks for Fall Foliage Viewing

BedandBreakfast.com's Top 10 Picks for Girlfriends' Getaways

BEDANDBREAKFAST.COM COUNTERS B&B MYTHS WITH VALUABLE BONUSES: Free home-cooked breakfasts, free Wi-Fi access, local calls and more, add up to big bucks in B&B bonus travel savings

Change photos often:
Media are often on the lookout for timely photos. Additionally, photos from your listing pages are often linked to press 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. As fall approaches, replace the summer shots with fall foliage and holiday photos. Not sure how to post photos? Click here to go to your Home Base on BedandBreakfast.com, click Photos under Free Member Benefits, then upload photos following the easy instructions.

Do you have B-roll? BedandBreakfast.com is building an up-do-date list of all members with TV quality footage (B-roll). Ideally, your footage will be shot in Beta or Beta SP, but more and more stations can now accept professionally shot digital footage in DigiPro, MiniDV and a few other formats. If your footage is shot in European format (PAL), it can be converted for use in the U.S. if necessary. If you have professionally shot television quality footage, please email Sarah.Stotts@BedandBreakfast.com and let her know the length and format of your footage.

Coming up: We have a busy fall editorial calendar planned. We will announce the 2008-2009 Best of BedandBreakfast.com Award winners in late September. We also plan to highlight some of the most creative packages for in-state vacations in our upcoming press releases. We have added a new Special called In State Special Rate. We encourage you to create a package for in-state travelers and post it under this category. Using your offers posted on the site, we will create a press release to encourage closer-to-home getaways. Additionally, be sure to post your Halloween Happenings Specials for upcoming Halloween publicity, too.

To add specials: Click here to go 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; simply log in with your Property ID and password. Select Specials from the table in your Home Base. Enter appropriate offers for In-state and Halloween specials. Bronze member? Please click here to upgrade. Not yet a member? Join today!

Ask the Pros: What is a publicity lead and how can it benefit me?

A: Public relations, like advertising, is an inexact science. With both, the more targeted and timely your message, the higher success rate you’ll have. Most press releases are written with a theme or story that the author thinks might attract media coverage, but the story is only published if the media is interested. Publicity leads, on the other hand, are requests from the media for specific content for stories they are researching. A publicity lead is a golden opportunity to both supply content and to establish a relationship with a member of the media. Inns and B&Bs that offer timely and relevant content to a travel writer or editor will be their valued resource for years to come.

BedandBreakfast.com has access to publicity leads posted on a number of subscription-based forums and associations. We monitor publicity leads from many sources, then post those that are relevant for B&Bs. Sometimes travel writers are looking for material from a specific region; other requests are topic-related. They often come with a short deadline, so it’s important that you check the publicity leads on BedandBreakfast.com often.

To find the publicity leads posted on BedandBreakfast.com, simply go to your Home Base on BedandBreakfast.com, and click the Publicity Leads link.

Tips for Responding To Publicity Leads

  1. Answer each request as concisely as possible; maximum 150 words.

  2. Answer the questions posted. If the writer asks about food, include the recipe.

  3. Include all information in the body of the email. A simple “see my website for more information” message will be quickly deleted.

  4. Respect the deadlines posted. Early responses have a greater chance of inclusion.

  5. Your response must include your name, the name of your B&B, your address, phone number, email and website addresses.

  6. Many members of the media cannot accept email attachments. If you have good pictures or video, mention it and ask if the writer seeks photography.

  7. Refer to the column or story indicated in the publicity lead. Many writers are working on multiple stories and may not necessarily know for which story your material is relevant.

BedandBreakfast.com Publicity Leads are an exclusive member benefit, and may not be shared with non-members. Here are a few that you will find posted on BedandBreakfast.com right now.

  • GoodHousekeeping.com has an ongoing need for special travel offers for its website users.

  • A national UK business magazine requests information about issues affecting U.S. business travelers and/or meeting planners.

  • A freelance writer who has contributed to titles including Boston Herald, Miami Herald, Country Magazine, Inn Traveler, and House Beautiful requests information about unusual small hotels/inns and about farms, small towns and country stores.

Log in for details and reporters' contact information.

Let’s Hear it from Innkeepers
“Thanks for thinking of us when the USA TODAY folks made their inquiries about schools-turned-B&B, and also in forwarding information about us being in the story and including the link to read it. Out here in Rural America we don't get that paper -- our knowledge of this gift would have been lost in its entirety without your efforts. Our marketing budget is devoted to internet marketing, SEO and keyword searches, so gratis print (especially on a national level) is a nice bonus, and certainly adds to the value we receive for our BedandBreakfast.com membership.” -- Mike and Lisa Friedemann, Owners/ Innkeepers, School House Bed + Breakfast Inn, Fort Davis, TX

Recent BedandBreakfast.com Media Coverage  
BedandBreakfast.com’s Sandy Soule was the quoted expert in USA TODAY’s weekly 10 Great story about Schools-turned-B&B. The story featured 10 BedandBreakfast.com members with comments from Sandy on the features of each one. Additionally, a story about BedandBreakfast.com Gift Cards was the topic of a recent blog entry on Destination Weddings Magazine.

BedandBreakfast.com’s efforts to promote the site’s Tanks a Lot offers has continued to garner tremendous media coverage. Here is a sampling of the media coverage we’ve enjoyed over the past month. A story appearing on TampaBay.com said “Check BedandBreakfast.com for dozens of properties throughout the country offering 'Tanks a Lot' promotions to attract guests. Some offer a gas card outright, others discount the rooms to ease the pain at the pump. Then check such sites as gasbuddy.com for stations in any given area with the lowest prices on gas.”

Additionally, Travel & Leisure included a link to BedandBreakfast.com in their article about Gas Saving Road Trip Tips. MSNBC covered BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks a lot program in a story entitled “These are Tough Times for Travelers” saying, “To help, the site’s Tanks a Lot promotion highlights $25–$50 rebates on stays at approximately 200 inns. Innkeepers are finding it’s one of the most effective marketing tools they’ve seen. The Columbus Dispatch also included Tanks a Lot in a story about ways ease travel pains with free gas.

A story about BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks a Lot packages and the $50 Vacation Bonus appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Their writers advised “fans will want to check BedandBreakfast.com, with more than 1,300 bookable B&Bs worldwide, detailed information on more than 7,000 B&Bs and inns, and an ever-changing list of bargains. Recently, there were more than 150 "Tanks a Lot" free gas offers on the Web site, and a two-night stay booked online by Sept. 1 and completed by Dec. 31 leads to a $50 bonus check. 1-800-462-2632, www.bedandbreakfast.com.”

In a story by Arthur Frommer appearing in newspapers throughout the country, he mentioned BedandBreakfast.com’s rebate program.

WaderingEducators.com, a website geared toward traveling teachers and professors, included an interview with Marti Mayne about B&B bonuses, as well as a list of great Girlfriends Getaways on BedandBreakfast.com.

BedandBreakfast.com’s editor’s picks for fall foliage was picked up by Wall St Journal’s Marketwatch, KLTV 7 in Tyler, TX, Yahoo!, AOL News, Houston Chronicle and many more newspapers and TV stations.

National Geographic’s Green Guide included a recommendation to visit BedandBreakfast.com when searching for eco-friendly B&Bs saying, “Another booking site, Bed and Breakfast includes an annual list of their editors' favorite eco-friendly B&Bs (search the Press Room for an Earth Day press release), like the Pinehurst Inn in Bayfield, Wisconsin, with distant views of Lake Superior (pinehurstinn.com, 877-499-7651). The innkeepers installed a solar hot water system, and run their car off their own biodiesel, made from leftover cooking oil from local restaurants.”

Boat U.S. Magazine featured a story about Boats and B&Bs in their recent September issue, highlighting a number of Maine members and suggesting that readers visit BedandBreakfast.com for additional B&B ideas.

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 badge, like the one below, to your website. Log in to your Home Base. Click Reviews, then click Links, Awards and Review Reminders to download the badge and other helpful review tools. Earn a $5 Inn of the Month credit for each review posted from August 29 to October 31! (Up to $50.)

Online Trade Show

Visit our newest vendor members!

Inventive Stained Glass
New Vibrant Surroundings
Canterbury Barn Candles
Tole Tray

 Click here to view our Online Trade Show. Are you a vendor? Click here to get featured!

Inns for Sale -- NEW!

Inns for Sale is brand new!

SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER: Get a free upgrade to the next level if you sign up by September 30!

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.

BedandBreakfast.com Blog

Check out our new blog! BedandBreakfast.com editors regularly post trip reports, B&B specials, and interesting B&B-related tidbits. Sign up to receive updates via email. Who knows? You might soon read about your inn!

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).

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

“Our reviews on BedandBreakfast.com have been really effective. In July alone, we received more than 10 requests, and almost all turned into reservations.” -- Ruth, Old Doctors House B&B, Bavaria, Germany

Innkeepers' Info Center

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

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