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Empty Space Traded By Hoteliers For Valuable P.R.

Given today�s economic condition, we can look for more smart business managers to take a page from Thomas McCarthy. After spending three years in hotel marketing with Hilton, Marriott, and his own hotel marketing/consulting company, McCarthy (writing in an issue of Hotel & Resort Industry magazine) offered the following advice:

�Take a cue from the experienced general manager of the major hotels in your market, as most of them are particularly aware of the organizations within the community (civic, service, religious, political, fraternal, business and professional) that influence public opinion in a meaningful way.� They know that being a contributing member of a community organization certainly helps to build the image of the hotel as a good neighbor, and also results in many leads for substantial business.

McCarthy says that smart hoteliers trade their empty space for valuable public relations by providing otherwise vacant meeting rooms as freebies for committee meetings, donating suites and meals as door prizes for special events, and giving help and accommodations that cost the hotel little or nothing.

For example, one hotel offered their lobby as the exclusive drop-off point for a Toys for Tots charity. In return, they were mentioned in connection with the worthwhile charity from ten to thirty times each day � on three radio stations for a 2-week period! Obviously, this exchange benefited the hotel.

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