Historically the hospitality industry would use very conventional public relations methods in order to drive notoriety about their hotel, Lodge or Facility. Today the hospitality industry is leveraging the power of digital ubiquity to reinvent and reimagine new ways to connect with potential guests. One very exciting approach that is being used to identify ways of connecting to the guest that goes far beyond old-fashioned public relations approaches is what I call “Hacking Hospitality” this is where hospitality and travel organizations put together teams to identify ways to connect to potential guests across a range of guest touch points across a range of guest personas. By identifying the various personas of guests and what their journey looks like we can then create unique and special messages that resonate.

It turns out that the best possible public relation program is the development of “Guest Experience (GX)” Roadmaps that are so good that customers are doing the public relation for the hotel or lodge. 90% of searches for hotels and lodges occur across connected devices and our estimate is that as much as 30% of customers are being deflected away from most hotels as a result of poor social ratings or the lack of a Guest Experience Roadmap.

My recommendation is to reimagine Public Relations PR from the old days as a one-way communication or PR stunt. Today public relations is about engaging a community of guests in a way that encourages them to talk about and promote your hotel or lodge. Most organizations make the common mistake of trying to tell the market how great they are through PR rather than doing the heavy lifting of actually being great, this of course is the best public relations program you could ever deploy.

Nicholas Webb is an enterprise strategist that helps organizations develop public relations and guest experience programs that increase revenue, social rankings and guest satisfaction. He is the author of What Customers Crave and a senior partner at Cravve www.whatcustomerscrave.com a management consulting firm that develops customer and guest experiences and marketing strategies.