Being a start-up organisation, we are fairly constrained by slim marketing budgets. This means that we generally steer clear of advertising our brand by traditional and expensive methods. A tough task, however, because as an up-and-coming hospitality company, we want to have our name recognised. We are on the radar of many advertising sales executives, who as we all know, have the tenacity of a pit-bull with lock jaw.
Our policy has been to curb our advertising spend, and rather focus our money and energy on escalating our reputation and our brand message through both our actions and word of mouth. What we decided to do in our early days, under the advice of a seasoned entrepreneur, was to enlist a public relations company to assist us in promoting our vision for BON Hotels – best move we ever made!
You cannot underestimate the power of publicity. I say this because we are a mere eight-property portfolio strong, yet we are already received as veritable players in the hospitality industry. Our ethos and ‘good thinking’ have been brilliantly and cleverly relayed via our outsourced PR company to our peers and potential clients through news releases, our blog, social media channels and publicity campaigns.
Both industry insiders and corporates have been given the opportunity to hear about us, to track our journey and to be exposed to how we think and how we do things. This has been particularly beneficial to our hotels too. What better way to advertise an establishment than through a trusted hotel review by an independent, unbiased journalist – this certainly carries clout!
I will admit that I don’t have a particularly insightful understanding of how publicity is measured, but our BON Hotels ‘yardstick’ is what people are saying out there – and what we hear is all good!