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How to Generate News About Your Green Hotel When There Isn’t Any

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You may be on a tight budget or just looking to create renewed exposure and interest for your green hotel or B&B efforts, yet cannot seem to find anything newsworthy to report. We’ve all encountered that from time to time. Don’t worry; there is still hope. There are hundreds of ways for you to create some news of your own to get the exposure you need.

Here are some of them:

Stage a green event. For those of you who are unfamiliar with doing this, you may think it sounds difficult. With a little creativity and proper planning, you can pull it off and truly differentiate your establishment from other hotels and B&Bs. If you have limited resources, think small to start, and then build upon it. Just make sure the type of event you create helps draw the type of customer you seek. For instance, if you represent a hotel that focuses more on the business traveler, keep your event focused on an event that will draw a business crowd—perhaps incorporating green educational forums that your facility could host and potentially participate in.

Remember to practice what you preach—make sure you’ve greened your event by only using products that can be reused and recycled and incorporating recycling efforts. If you are unfamiliar with how to organize a green event, enlist the assistance of an event planner or consultant familiar with planning this type of event. On a limited budget? Ask them to consult with you or seek out the information for yourself. There are plenty of articles out there on this subject (write to me at info@marketing-insider.com for suggestions).

Participate in a newsworthy event not only as a sponsor, but also as a participant. If you cannot afford to sponsor it, participate in it—but make it matter.

Tie in with a major environmental news story. There are always breaking news stories on your local stations, or on national stations such as CNN. Follow the news and determine if you have a story that would tie in with an existing one.

Offer yourself as an expert media source. The media often look for experts to provide commentary on the latest trend, event, or issue. Can you talk about green travel in your area? How about some of the trends you’ve seen from travelers staying at your green hotel? Let the media know you are available as a guest and source whenever they need someone. Better yet, give them a list of topics you as the owner or public relations director can be an expert source on.

Report on internal procedures. Do you have a more unconventional way of doing business than most companies? Do you offer unusual training and employee benefits that support your environmental position as a hotel or B&B? Do you offer a package of green products from local businesses to make a guest’s stay more comfortable and healthier? Tell people about it. Just because your competitors read about your business practices doesn’t mean they can automatically duplicate them. Sometimes it can even be good if they do—it will make you look like the industry leader.

Provide editorial comments on a controversial issue. Are you, or one of your key executives, passionate about certain environmental issues? Are you or they also knowledgeable about them? Express your views in writing. Send a letter to the editor of an industry publication or local newspaper.

Organize your own debate on a very heated public issue. You can even do it online, and invite participants.

Support a local charity through unusual means. Does your organization support underprivileged or intercity youth? How about adopting a ski slope and working with them to hold events to combat global warming? Intercity youth could be sponsored to participate in the event and learn about global warming. Offer to hold planning meetings at your establishment and position your hotel as the place for participants and out-of-town spectators to stay.

Start an association or foundation that supports something in which you or your company believes. Many companies support local charities in which they believe. Very few actually create an organization or foundation to support their beliefs. This could be your chance to stand out from the rest.

Take on an active role in a visible leadership position within your community. This is highly recommended, especially if you are the owner, CEO, or president of your company. You’ll want as much visibility as possible, and this will give it to you. If your city is preparing any environmental initiatives, join the board. Use your establishment to provide support services for this role in which you serve, perhaps hosting some of the events or meetings to gain additional exposure.

Use a well-known person as a spokesperson for your hotel to demonstrate widespread use. If you are on a tighter budget and not able to fund something such as this, consider inviting a local media personality to stay at your hotel or B&B and ask them to talk about it on the air or in their column. Additionally, if you know a national media person will be a commentator at an event coming to town, why not invite them to stay at your hotel or B&B? You might get some free press out of it.

Offer an unusual product or service to every hotel guest to demonstrate your greening efforts. You can even extend this to anyone who comes up to your front desk. Be creative and offer something that truly differentiates your hotel or B&B from the rest.

Colette Chandler is an expert in consumer health and environmental trends and the president of The Marketing Insider, a marketing and communications consulting firm that teaches companies how to profit from consumer trends and understand the consumers who influence them. Learn about the media training services she offers, including her Walk the Media Tightrope audio program, or the study her firm conducted on attitudes of green and health-conscious consumers at www.marketing-insider.com. She can be reached at (614) 776-1416 or at cchandler@marketing-insider.com.

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