In spite of a pandemic that has changed the way we travel and dine, the hospitality industry is making a comeback. According to Travel Pulse, the leisure and hospitality sectors beat all other industries in employee wage earnings growth at 8.14 percent as of October 2021. There is no doubt that hospitality has changed, and with it, PR practices have shifted, too. The Covid-19 pandemic saw restaurateurs, hotel-owners and airlines scrambling to convince patrons it was safe to vacation, or even just eat out again.
Safety, health and the well-being of our society have quickly become priorities for consumers as they slowly begin to re-enter the travel, tourism and culinary worlds since the pandemic. Consumers are also more concerned about sustainability. Many desire to know how their purchases affect the environment in the long-term.
At Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based public relations agency Durée & Company, we know how to take this information and translate it into a scrumptious strategy for any sector of the hospitality industry. Whether it’s restaurants, hotels, wineries, travel and tourism destinations, airlines, cruises and so much more, we know what to do. Here are four trends in the world of hospitality PR that will help keep any brand aligned with the changing standards of today’s consumer.
Think Outdoors & Experiential
Events are part of the magic of PR, especially for the hospitality industry. They allow people to interact with a brand and taste its goodness for themselves. Now more than ever, outdoor events when the weather allows are the most popular way to entertain and stay safe. Activating dormant spaces in hotels, resorts and even restaurants is one way to create buzz around that brand. Yoga classes, salsa nights, DJ sets and artist in residency programs are examples of events that hotels can hold outdoors. Not only will they entice hotel guests, but also the community at large.
Creating these safe spaces and inviting an audience beyond just tourists undoubtedly increases traction for the hotel. What’s more, inviting influencers or micro-influencers to these types of events in exchange for content, whether a cabaret night at a restaurant or a fitness class in a hotel courtyard, is a proven method of building brand awareness and garnering sales. It’s all about the experience – and now more than ever, safety is key.
Sustainability and Positive Luxury
Today, consumers are becoming increasingly interested in how their investments impact the environment and society at large. The rise of social media and digital marketing has emotionally attached consumers to the brands more than ever before.
As a result of this ‘positive luxury’ movement, many restaurant and food brands are more transparent about nutrition, product life cycles, ingredient origins and sustainability. Hotels are focused on tackling food waste, reducing carbon emissions and assisting those affected by the pandemic.
Charity is another big item on the list of conscious consuming. In terms of a PR strategy, it’s imperative to highlight these initiatives in press releases, media alerts and on social media. Use hashtag holidays such as ‘National Climate Action Month’ to educate consumers. Remind them traveling or going out to eat is not a selfish act, but actually supports environmental or charitable efforts.
Local or Micro-Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is widely used in the hospitality industry today, and that’s because it works. And, don’t underestimate the power of local nano- (1K – 10K followers) and micro-influencers (10K – 100K followers) to boost a brand’s reputation. Enticing local influencers to either experience a restaurant, hotel or spa is sometimes more far-reaching than media coverage… At least for the TikTok-obsessed Gen Z demographic.
Sometimes, these smaller accounts have more engagement than larger names and even celebrities. Social media consumers love to lean on their favorite experts in food, travel, style, home décor and more. Often, they look to micro-influencers for truthful content, whereas larger influencers might be paid to promote just about anything. As a publicist, sending social media influencers for paid dines or hotel stays are gold mines. They generate authentic coverage, user engagement and a palpable ROI.
At D&Co, our team knows how to navigate the hospitality PR world with finesse, no matter what the state of the world looks like. Want to promote your restaurant, hotel or other hospitality business? Contact us today and let us help your brand flourish in today’s ever-shifting society.
About Durée & Company, Inc.
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, digital marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions, affiliate marketing and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in yachting, business, real estate, hospitality, travel, health and wellness, cannabis and psychedelics, art and culture, fashion, nonprofit organizations, cryptocurrency and technology, legal and professional services.
Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; cannabismarketingpr.com; or psychedelicpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.