Public relations programming is essential to the tourism and hospitality industry. “Build it and they will come” just doesn’t work all by itself. A destination is nothing more than an accidental stop-over if nobody knows about it.
With that said, we in the PR industry still often find it difficult to explain to lay people what it is we do, how we do it ( this series of blog posts does just that) and why it is so vitally important.
When the ultimate stakeholder is the taxpayer, there is even more scrutiny.
I found it interesting recently when Experience Scottsdale, the city of Scottsdale’s convention and visitor’s bureau, took a direct approach to making sure Scottsdale residents knew exactly what it had accomplished.
In an article in a two-page advertorial titled “Tourism Spotlight” in the Scottsdale Republic, a regional tabloid of the Arizona Republic, Experience Scottsdale boasted about its 1,000-plus media hits, including big articles in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and WestJet.
The article shared some of its tactics, including meeting with journalists at trade shows, deskside meetings and direct story pitching.
It also emphasized the need for a coordinated public relations effort:
“Through targeted, positive media exposure in print, broadcast, online and social mediums, Experience Scottsdale increases awareness and interest about Scottsdale with potential visitors. The organization’s public relations tactics are essential in generating national and international buzz about the city.”
This paragraph could have come from one of our proposals. It’s what we in the industry constantly preach as we continually have to educate and even justify our existence – to those who don’t understand.
Tourism would not be what it is in Arizona without its public relations professionals telling the story.