One of my favorite set of articles in the 365 Guide is the series on Guerrilla Marketing. The essence of good guerrilla marketing are marketing tactics travel professionals can execute with a minimal expenditure of capital. Certainly public relations can fall into this category. For maximum impact, however, the effort needs to possess a strong creative flair to “stick” in the public’s mind.
The public appreciates creative marketing stunts so long as the effort does not inconvenience others. The best efforts are fun and visually striking. The visual nature of the creative effort gives media an opportunity to video and photograph, exactly what the public relations building travel professional is looking to achieve!
It is important your PR efforts are relevant to the business of travel and properly reflects your corporate mission. Make it easy to connect the dots for the public and for the media. Often you can partner with another local business to increase the range of influence, to help cover costs and for additional creative flair.
Here are a few sample ideas that might spark some of your own:
- Sponsor a contest of local third grade classes to build a replica of the Eiffel Tower or other famous landmark out of pop cycle sticks, sand or other material. Too complicated? Have the students draw pictures instead! Award a prize to the winning class or prizes to all participants. Join forces with a local baker to prepare pastries for the event. Get to know all of the parents who attend, invite the press and make an event of it!
- Sponsor and get involved with local events where you can build a travel story. For example, a Special Olympics event locally certainly has international reverberations this year. St. Patricks day speaks to trips to Ireland and partnering with an Italian restaurant to build the town’s largest pizza might be a way to work trips to Rome into the public conversation!
- Work with the local animal shelter to hold a pet adoption day. Work travel into the conversation by involving local pet sitters and by publishing articles on traveling with pets (you will find several such articles at www.travelhoppers.com).
- If you read the Guerrilla Marketing articles, you will find some tactics I believe you will appreciate.
Good PR efforts don’t have to reach tens of thousands of people. Keep your goals in line with your expenditures. If you make a lasting impression on just a few, if you get a small crowd talking, and they are talking well about you and your travel practice, then your PR effort has been a success.
Tomorrow: Local Expert