KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

Digital platforms are hungry and need constant updating and feeding!

Communication is key. Don’t guard your information.

Using Influencers: It is important to establish deliverables upfront if an influencer/blogger visits a property, as it is not easy to measure as print is.

Theresa Gibbon

Owner - Theresa Gibbon PR

Specialises in providing Public Relations services for Hotels in southern Africa.

082 820 8437

Theresa@theresagibbonpr.co.za

Instagram: theresa_gibbon/

 

The role of traditional PR in a digital market place

 

  • Promoting some of the country’s most unique and beautiful properties sounds like a dream job – what’s your favourite part about travel-focused PR?

It is a dream job as I handle the PR for some awesome properties. I love seeing reviews in print and online, especially from the media visits that I’ve hosted. So often the enthusiasm and excitement of the experience comes alive again.   On a recent hosted media visit to Brahman Hills in KZN, my guests were so enthusiastic that they tweeted and shared non stop, which created a lot of interest in the property – it was very rewarding.

  • The role of a PR agent has really changed over the years as technology has advanced – is there still a place for traditional PR? (What’s the balance between print and digitial when promoting?

As a PR Consultant, we now have more opportunities to publicise our clients, from print, print’s digital platforms, websites, online newsletters and then also social media (bloggers, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc).   Traditional PR has now developed many more avenues in which we can do our jobs.

  • Do most print platforms now offer added value on their digital platforms?

Once a property is reviewed in print, it is generally posted on their digital platforms. We are then able to share it via our client’s social media channels as digital is in a better format for this process. Digital platforms are hungry and need constant updating and feeding!

  • The relationship between PR/Marketing/Social Media seems to have become a lot closer knit now as platforms overlap. What’s the secret to working with an establishment’s marketing or online team?

Share, share and share. Communication is key. Don’t guard your information. The more the PR, client and online teams share contacts, information and ideas, the better it is for the client. I don’t just do straight forward PR anymore, I also assist clients with advertising advice, social media advice and other marketing input.

  • We recently ran an article of our own on the role of online influencers, especially for smaller properties- how do you see the PR benefit of these relationships?

The online influencers I work with are mainly bloggers. It is important to establish deliverables upfront if an influencer/blogger visits a property, as it is not as easy to measure as print is.

  • Not all establishments have the budget for professional PR services- what advice/tips would you suggest to them in order to get the most out of their news/stories?

Once you have story online share it on your social media platforms, taking care to credit the publication/website/blogger etc. If an article is in a print title, maybe get a few copies to have at your reception or guests’ rooms so that they can be impressed with the coverage.

  • Can you give us some tips on working with the media if we don’t use a professional PR.

Treat the media as you would treat a respected friend or a client. Don’t see them as freeloaders as they are doing something good for your property by promoting it. They also need to experience a wide variety of activities/experiences in order to have sufficient things to write about. Itemise up front what is covered by the media visit, so there are no surprises either way. Your staff must also be briefed as to the do’s and don’ts. Also ensure you provide them with the relevant information and photos timeously after their visit.

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