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5 PR Goals for Your Vacation Rental

Generating publicity for a vacation rental business is a goal that most vacation rental owners and managers would agree that they would have. But, how do you go about actually achieving this?  PR is a skilled profession usually left in the hands of professionals, however there are certain actions that you can take that can make your vacation rental business a little more media savvy and help you do your own PR.

  1. Develop your VR ‘story’

One of the first steps in a successful PR plan is to identify the ‘story’ of a business, product or experience. Without a story, your vacation rental lacks media appeal, but with a story and a strong angle, you have a much greater chance of appealing to the readers and consumers that journalists and editors are tasked to reach and entertain. Your ‘story’ can include the reason that your rental exists in the first place. Were you drawn to your particular property or area for a somewhat magical reason? Did you spot it and fall in love on a walk one day? Have you always vacationed in the area and dreamed of buying a home there? Is there an interesting history to the property? Maybe you have a resident ghost of are on a street which has a colourful history. Perhaps the location has a great story or the region has something notable.

2. Identify your key ‘Influencers’

In order to get your PR off the ground, you need people and contacts to help you. An ‘influencer’ is essentially anyone who can help reach and influence an audience that is bigger than what you could reach on your own initiative. Journalists and travel editors are influencers because they have access to, and sway with, large numbers of readers. Bloggers, social media ‘stars’, celebrities (even local ones), local tourism bodies, partners and suppliers may all be potential ‘influencers’ who can help magnify your vacation rental ‘story’. Find out who are the influencers relevant for your property and business and begin building connections and relationships.

3. Develop a media friendly press kit

Developing an easy to access and downloadable media kit, that can be housed on your website, helps you to go a long way towards making your vacation rental more PR savvy. This media kit will allow any interested journalist or blogger to get the information about your property, where it is and who to contact for more information – not reservations. Remember that journalists are interested in facts and not promotion. The media kit should also include any assets that may help them use your property. For any real chance of receiving coverage or being featured, it is vital that you have good quality high-res images available. Make sure that images can be easily downloaded from your website, or provide information about how they can access images and logos.

4. Think about hosting a press trip

Inviting the right type of travel writer or quality blogger to stay at your property and experience what a guest would experience staying with you, can be a brilliant way of securing good quality coverage. Be warned though – there are lots of bloggers and ‘Instagrammers’ making dubious promises of amazing reach and influence trying to ‘blag’ their way into free holidays, so it is important to be selective and do your homework researching each opportunity. Only say yes to opportunities for commissioned features or to a blogger that you particularly resonate with. Remember – a press trip is not a holiday. It is a business arrangement with someone who has a job to do and a remit to follow. Also – remember that to a journalist, the ‘client’ is their editor and readers, not you or your property.

5. Prepare a pitch

Once you have identified your angle and know who you are going to try and reach out to, it’s time to start thinking about your ‘pitch’. Essentially a pitch is your ‘story’ and why a writer or editor should be interested in your property or experience. This is your key chance to shine, so make sure your ‘pitch’ is short, sweet and to the point. It is unlikely that any travel writer would be interested in a ‘pitch’ solely about a vacation rental. However, if you can tie the pitch into something interesting that is happening locally or in some unique way that is relevant to the audience of said writer, then this will be key.

 Jessica Gillingham

Jessica Gillingham is the director of Abode PR, an integrated PR, social and content marketing agency servicing the vacation rental industry.

You can download a free guide from Abode PR on: “Successfully Pitching Your Press Release to Travel Editors” here.