In next 20 mins talk about using PR to help you get ahead of your competitors, hopefully give you some ideas that those people who aren’t here today might not have also to look at how much more effective PR is, if it’s integrated completely into your business and marketing strategy Relevant whether you’re one high end shop on high street or home worker or multi-million pound turn over company. Applications may be different, principles are the same,
Idea of our company and my background Until a few weeks ago, bgb 20 years in travel and tourism PR and marketing – many luxury clients Now bought by Four Communications – clients in property, banking, Government and consumer brands Do public affairs, design, digital marketing, media buying as well as PR for their clients Also have an international network of travel specialists for clients who need work in more than one market
As we we’re all aware, everyone’s version of luxury is different. And luxury has become a horrendously overused term. However, until someone comes up with something better, everyone in our sector, and a lot of brands and companies outside of it are operating under this very broad umbrella. I rather like this definition and it seems very relevant to the hospitality industry. It implies an awful lot of hardwork going on behind the scenes to provide a seamless and perfect experience.
I’m less keen on this sign at Barbados airport. But is does highlight what everyone here is up against.
Can’t market your luxury product to your clients unless you know what their perception - expectations are probably everyone of them is slightly different Makes positioning and PR very difficult because you have to alight on something that is most relevant to most of your audience and supports where you want to take your business
At the heart of any marketing communications and PR strategy Your brand should be looking to own it’s brand category When women think gorgeous expensive shoes they think Jimmy Choo When people think stylish fountain pens they think Mont Blanc Top of the range cars – Ferrari (some may think Bentley or Aston Martin) but as long as people are putting in orders for Ferraris when they get their City bonuses, the positioning is working All these brands are unapologetic about their positioning or the cost. They’re very clear about where they want to be and what people are saying about them Is there really clear differeniation between the perception of luxury tour operators and top end hotels in our sector?. bgb rebrand – travel and lifestyle/80% of your business/focus on core and get ahead of your competitors in that sector
Creating an actual campaign is at the heart of successful PR Travel industry bad at running campaigns. Memorable PR campaigns, rarely part of luxury travel industry. Travel PR - not sending journalists away and sending out offers, get some coverage. Competitors - saying about themselves/review sites - what other people are saying about them. Look at websites Decide on key messages (that differentiate you, not the generic ones that promise good service, exceptional experience and a sense of place) Don’t have to be to be all things to all people. Use PR to become known for what you want to sell most of, or your single point of distinction. THE honeymoon expert? island for soft adventure? Luxury family holidays? Agent - team have won more awards than your competitors? Luxury hotel, what’s different? St Geran – Champagne when you leave. Work out what you want PR to do – help you break into new markets? Previously known for selling Indian Ocean and you now want to sell ski? Support a change in positioning?
Make sure you’ve got a story. The media won’t cover it, people won’t comment online, general waste of time if it’s not a story. If you haven’t got a new hotel, or a new shop or a new brochure - create one (not as in make one up but give your campaign a hook) Research is good as long as it’s credible – trends, views, where people think Kate and William are going on their honeymoon, what people think is their biggest luxury. Media like surveys. Swedish cities pop up – Design Doctor at Westfield – social media, interaction with high end consumers, increased our database by 1500 and increased Twitter followers by 50% Local event you can sponsor/provide a prize for; Lobbying and campaigns - give you a platform that you’re passionate about and you think your clients care about. VAT/Bankers Bonuses/pedestrianisation of the high street/campaign with other local businesses Make your luxury product exclusive - Hermes, waiting list for handbags/Champagne – designer bottles only available in Harrods
Generally luxury travel industry hasn’t been fast at latching onto potential A few companies tweeting and doing facebook but not necessarity interacting Currently - sending out offers, competitions, following more people than are following you Entry level social media activity is Facebook and Twitter Reassuring - Facebook users 11% earn over £100,000, 37% over 35 yrs old Twitter – 11% earn over £100,000, 53% over 35 Go on, listen, follow, retweet and engage. Blog pulse, tweet deck, Radion 6 Twitter for comment, news, deals, competitions, requests for reviews, campaigns. Media requests Specific messages – engage in relevant discussions. Tweet from Fam trips, training sessions. Known for long haul and want to start selling ski – start following ski writers, contact ski bloggers, engage in conversations. Can find a list of travel media on Twitter Conde Nast Luxury Travel Fair campaign . Time consuming, not expensive, do it consistently and commit time to it.
Invitation only – asmallworld, Rue Lala. Create your own or closed group on Linked in Foursquare and Gowalla – made for travel industry. Locations based social networks. Not many travel companies using them. Hotels/tour operators – itineraries/new openings. Any business that has people who travel regularly Bloggers – get to audiences that aren’t already aware of you. Send bloggers away as you would media. Connect with new audiences who share a passion – wine, good food, luxury travel, adventure, music etc. Forums and social bookmarking sites - Delicious mean that people can find you and if they’re looking for like minded people or companies Review what’s being said , customer services is now performed in public. respond quickly to negative publicity Our client in six weeks Twitter following up 380%; media requests, and consumer enquiries ; rankings up dramatically for all six chosen keywords ‘ Luxury Holidays’ the most successful – SERP ranking up from over 100 to 7 to number 2 at one point last week #TTOT (Travel Talk on Twitter) this week - twenty more Twitter followers in 10 minutes A lot of chat on Twitter about the new Q&A site Quora. Opportunity to be an expert.
Argument against using social media for luxury products is that it’s not targeted and get a lot of enquiries and website traffic that are a waste of time. But other luxury brands are using it to great effect and can be very targeted if you tackle it right. Launch trainer collection last year Taking social media offlilne Realtime treasurehunt – physically chase a pair of trainers around London using clues on Foursquare Trainers were checked in at fashionable locations in London and sent out realtime updates. Whoever got their first got the trainers 4000 participants/285,000 views on Facebook 4,000 mentions on twitter/250 blogs covered it/Press coverage Trainer sales went up 33% after the Evening Standard covered the story Louis Vuitton - created a red carpet event on Facebook, Alexa Chung reported on a live video feed Invitation only for Mercedes customers McKinsey report in December - companies using social media and Web 2 are making more money and if that’s not an incentive for embracing it I don’t know what is.
Sharing some figures to show how important it is that natural SEO is an integral part of your campaign and supports your core messages. 74,000 people in the UK typed luxury holiday into google last month 386,000 typed in luxury hotel People in the UK googled 60,000 distinct search terms containing the word luxury over a 3 month period last year ¾ of the top 20 terms were travel related Shows how difficult and important Natural SEO is to getting to a new audience. May find better to own something that supports your campaign – honeymoons, Mauritius, bespoke wine tours or Caribbean (if you’re changing your focus) Improve rankings by combination of social, placing content and building links (client campaign – 1,700 new links, just focusing on 6 search terms) Reverse SEO – can put up lots of positive stuff to push bad publicity back down the rankings Can do this is a major way by employing professionals but you can also affect your rankings by engaging in social media in a targeted way in your sector
Relevant whatever the size of your business (local or national) PR Used to be just media relations. Don’t just talk to the media when you want something/Not just in return for coverage or most useful to you at the time Read the press, ask them what they like/don’t like Different stories for different parts of the website/paper – travel pages (obvious), business (local) health, beauty, lifestyle, food, business profile, letters pages ,reader/subscriber offers, reader events Don’t send out press releases to 100s and then phone them up Don’t be obsessed with size. Double page spread - 100s of phone calls and bookings, now it doesn’t. Small relevant snippet will deliver as much. Don’t expect journalists to write reams about aeroplane seats/tour operating/travel agency. Give them a superb experience and you’ll get paid back over and over again. Travel journalists are the source of all travel recommendations. Media partnerships – year long campaign - research, reader event, reader offers, write a column, provide a prize, do some advertising, give news first
If you do anything today, make the decision to invest in some really good photography. You’d be astonished at how many luxury travel brands have the most apalling photography. Whoever does this first wins the Oscar As long as you’ve got a good story to go with it (and the travel industry has plenty of those) you’ll get included in glossy magazines, in newspapers, image galleries on line. You cannot lose. When you’ve done that, do the same with video. Corporate website might be different to youtube style. Websites are desperate for it. Luxury sector, absolutely a place for both.
Sometimes, sometimes not. Think carefully about what association you want with celebrities and what you’re hoping to achieve Lily Allen to Le Manoir – she tweeted, website hits went up by 50% straight away Kerala launch at the Saatchi Gallery in September, lots of celebrities – lots of tweeting, OK Magazine. Celebrity holidays – spread the word. Put it on the map. Country Life and Savills plus Julian Fellows who wrote Downton Abbey. Telegraph covered it because of that. Not if pick the wrong ones or expecting too much – Cheryl Cole/L’Oreal (unless you have the money) OFT cracking down on celebrities using twitter to endorse a brand unless they clearly state their relationship with the brand. Liz Hurley and Estee Lauder Proceed with caution
Can be phenomenally good way to reach new audiences and get brand endorsement Local or national level Must be relevant and should be long term This example put Handpicked Hotels together with the Game Fair and Country Life Magazine. Each gained access to the others databases, the promotion at the Game Fair was guaranteed coverage in Country Life and Country Life readers got extra value from going to the Game Fair and having the chance to win weekends at Handpicked Hotels. Works for everyone.
In summary – decide on your core proposition and be uncompromising about it take ownership of it, create a campaign around it and stick to the campaign messages. Don’t try to be all things to all people Social media – at the very least start listening, following and seeing what people are saying about you and your competitors in the social media space, If you decide to do something, commit proper time and be imaginative SEO – keep it tight, stick to the terms that make you stand out Media relations – build a relationship with key media, columnists, bloggers, video, images Celebrities - know what you’re getting into Brand partnerships – long term, relevant, mutually beneficial Lastly - be bold. If you’re a local business go back and pick up the phone to your local media, if you’re a big company give your PR agency a challenging brief, shake things up a bit and PR could really make a difference to your business.
A presentation on PR, social media and luxury travel
Getting the competitive edge - through PR
<ul><li>“ Luxury is invisible perfection” </li></ul><ul><li>Coco Chanel </li></ul>
<ul><li>Luxury handbags </li></ul><ul><li>Everything under </li></ul><ul><li>$15! </li></ul>
Creating a campaign <ul><li>Competitor audit </li></ul><ul><li>Understand barriers/agree core messages </li></ul><ul><li>Agree your target market </li></ul><ul><li>Decide what you want PR to achieve </li></ul><ul><li>- and how you’re going to evaluate if it’s working </li></ul>
The story <ul><li>Make sure it really is a story </li></ul><ul><li>If you haven’t got one, create one </li></ul><ul><li>- research/surveys </li></ul><ul><li>- hold an event </li></ul><ul><li>- take ownership of a relevant event or occasion </li></ul><ul><li>- start a campaign </li></ul><ul><li>- make your luxury product exclusive </li></ul>
Social media – what is everyone doing? <ul><li>Find out what’s being said about you </li></ul><ul><li>It’s more than Facebook and Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Works best when it’s part of an integrated </li></ul><ul><li>campaign </li></ul>
What can you do that’s different? <ul><li>Invitation only networks </li></ul><ul><li>Foursquare/Gowalla </li></ul><ul><li>Bloggers/Social bookmarking </li></ul><ul><li>Review sites </li></ul><ul><li>Quora </li></ul>
Inspiring social media campaigns <ul><li>Catch-a-choo on Foursquare </li></ul><ul><li>Louis Vuitton’s flagship store launch </li></ul><ul><li>Generationbenz.com </li></ul>
How does SEO fit into PR campaigns? <ul><li>74,000 </li></ul><ul><li>386,000 </li></ul><ul><li>60,000 </li></ul><ul><li>75% </li></ul>
Getting ahead through media relations <ul><li>It’s not just press trips </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships with key media </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted story sell in </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get hung up on size </li></ul><ul><li>Explore media partnerships </li></ul>
“ Good photography makes the difference as to whether you get onto my pages or not.” Maria Schollenberger Financial Times, How to Spend It
Case study “owning” a day – Tourism Ireland <ul><li>The story: Turning the London Eye Green on St Patrick’s Day 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrity: Mikey Graham, Boyzone </li></ul><ul><li>Social media: Spotify campaign to find the best St Patrick’s Day playlist </li></ul><ul><li>SEO: link building moved Tourism Ireland from page 27 to page 1 on Google </li></ul><ul><li>Media relations: Video News Release </li></ul><ul><li>Coverage: worth £1.76 million (28% reach of affluent AB audience) </li></ul>