When we craft a public relations campaign, we weave together networking, public speaking, media relations and publication. While each of these activities are separate disciplines in their own right, they have something in common – the are vehicles driven by your personality. In each instance, you power both the message and the delivery. For better or worse, your travel practice will walk and talk like you do. If that is truly the case, it is important for us to choose carefully the persona we project.
Firstly, let me assure you that I am not suggesting you be anything less than authentic. It would never suit for you to adopt a personality or a way of being that was not genuine or true to your nature. However, it is wonderfully and thankfully possible to pick and choose the topics we address and the manner in which we address them. As a business person, your every utterance will impact your business prospects. In a time when social media sends our written and verbal missives into a state of perpetual existence, it pays to think before speaking.
Far too often, we forget the lessons we learned early on about polite conversation. Our emotions get the best of us and we are suddenly on a rant about politics, religion or telling a story that borders on gossip or scandal. In so doing, we are almost surely alienating some portion of a potential business constituency. A diatribe about [liberals/conservatives/abortion/gay rights/gun control/religion] has little place in a business context. Yet, it is common to see Facebook postings about any one of these topics in the context of travel agency marketing.
Nolan Burris once wrote an excellent article for TRO on the topic that bears a re-reading. You no doubt work very hard to build up a client base, but a few ill-considered words can wreck your efforts in short order. In your public relations efforts, keep your business head on straight. Consider carefully the topics you choose for discussion and leave the politicking for your personal life. Both you and your clients will be happier for your discretion.