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Marketing Q&A with Jennifer Rodrigues
A: I would recommend starting to plan out your conference schedule a year in advance. First step is to target the events where you'd like to speak. Put together a list and do research to find out who the contact is for each to submit speaking applications and when the deadlines are. Ask yourself:
Once you've answered these questions, you can figure out what speech topic will interest both the attendees and the speech selection committee the most.
Put together a short outline of the main points of your speech. You can use whichever format you think best outlines the speech. I personally like to use a short intro paragraph, highlighting the overall scope of the speech, with a short bulleted list of each main point that you'll be making. It's important not to give too much or too little info; keep it less than a page long so that you don't lose the reader's interest.
A small note - By following these steps, you'll have a much better chance of being chosen to speak at your next conference. Keep in mind though that some conferences receive thousands of applications so it's a numbers game. Submit as many outlines to as many conferences as possible and eventually, you will be picked to speak.
Q: I use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising but many of my customers prefer to call the hotel directly to book. How can I track the results of my campaign in a market where people prefer to book over the phone rather than online?
A: According to MileStone Internet Marketing, for every one reservation generated online, there are between 2 to 7 times the reservations generated on the phone. The actual ratio depends on the hotel brand and the market segment that the hotel operates in but it's obvious that if you're not tracking your phone bookings as well as the online ones, you aren't getting a proper picture of your PPC campaign ROI.
There are several technologies available to track phone call conversions. At the simplest level, you can assign a unique number for your marketing campaigns and your website so that all calls on the unique numbers can be traced back to the campaigns. Make sure that those numbers do not end up in your marketing collateral or you risk diluting your results. More sophisticated tools, such as the one shown below, will not only track calls from different campaigns, but can track by keywords and search engines.
Customer tagging is one tracking method used, especially by companies who use loyalty programs to encourage sales. To implement this type of tracking, the customer needs to be uniquely identified on the site, through a log in/customer ID/order ID. The customer starts the booking online then calls the hotel to complete the booking. The ID can then be used to track the online origins of the offline sale.
Pay-per-call. Pay-per-call services can work with your PPC campaigns to track conversion across different search engines. These work by generating a phone number specific to the online visitor based on the site they originated from. Also, they track the call performance so you can capture call length, conversion and other information without the need to dedicate a phone number to that particular campaign.
Q: I've got my key messages and media list ready. How do I put together an effective press release?
A: The press release is "a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value." While it is a basic component of almost every PR campaign, there are some stats I'd like to share with you about them:
Surprised? Now you know that a good press release isn't enough to guarantee coverage. Press releases have to be well-written, provide good, newsworthy information and it must, must, must be timely.
As well as having perfect spelling and grammar, a traditional news release should follow a set format and include the following components:
Once you've got your release written, it's important not to just blast it out to everyone on your media list. This will get you marked as a spammer and blocked from a journalist's rolodex of possible contacts.
Some other tips to consider:
Did this information help you? If you have other questions, I'd love to hear from you - please don't be shy! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don't forget to check back twice a month for more PR and Marketing Q&As.
Jennifer Rodrigues, Visibility Specialist with ThinkInk and TravelInk'd, is a seasoned public relations professional with a passion for the hospitality industry, which is expressed in her role at ThinkInk's travel division, TravelInk'd. At TravelInk'd, she is responsible for developing cost-effective and creative public relations and marketing strategies for clients in the travel and tourism, airline, lodging, cruise and meeting/event sectors. For more information on TravelInk'd, please visit www.travelinkd.com or contact Jennifer email@example.com.
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