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Here are a few ways to help prepare for the holiday season as public relations specialists within the hospitality industry.
The holiday season in the hospitality industry can be such a joyous and busy time filled with holiday events, pop-ups, specialty cocktail menus and jolly times with loved ones. As public relation specialists within the industry, we know that this season is also filled with hustle and bustle and can even be stressful if not managed properly. After years of working within the industry, here are a few things to keep in mind to help keep your holiday goals on track whether you’re on the PR side or the hospitality side.
As publicists, we’re always thinking at least one season ahead. So it’s not uncommon to start planning winter holidays during the summer months if we want national coverage. Knowing what your clients are planning for the holidays is essential for a smooth sailing holiday strategy. Whether this is a holiday menu, a Christmas event, or a holiday meal to-go program, identifying what your client is working on will help you and your team strategically plan and identify the specific goals and objectives for the holiday season.
Digital and print both play a vital role in the media landscape during the holidays. It’s important to keep in mind the timelines for both types of media. Both digital and print have specific editorial calendars and deadlines. For print publications, these deadlines can be less flexible due to the production process. One way that media outlets help us publicists out, is with their editorial calendar. Most media outlets will publish calendars at the beginning of the year with a thorough schedule of planned content along with deadlines for pitches, advertising and images. A great example of an editorial calendar can be found at Austin Monthly. These calendars are usually posted on the outlet’s website for easy access, otherwise, you can often submit an inquiry form online to secure the editorial calendar. A great example is the inquiry form at CultureMap Austin.
It’s important to remember, we aren’t the only ones with full calendars during the holiday season. Journalists’ schedules are also filled with work and personal travel. If you’re planning a holiday pop-up, a media preview event or even an event that isn’t holiday related, avoiding the days leading up to and following a holiday will help ensure that more media will be able to attend the events. As publicists, we know that this isn’t always possible. The early bird gets the worm and letting the media know as early as possible will help them plan accordingly. It’s also essential to communicate with clients that date selection during planning should be well thought out with media travel in mind. One awesome way to stay up to date on what journalists are up to is subscribing to newsletters! It’s common for journalists to send daily newsletters that are filled with their current story ideas, travel plans and fun personal tidbits about their lives. A couple of fun newsletters that our team subscribes to are by Aly Walanksky and Alice Dubin.
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– Heather B.