PR has a very positive impact on vacation rental bookings. Being both reactive (responding to journalist requests) and proactive (pitching your story), PR has real and tangible results. Essentially PR is about building relationships with the travel press, blogger community, and other key influencers. It’s about gaining earned (so not paid for) coverage of your content. For a vacation rental business, this translates into your property, business and website being featured online and in print. The benefits for vacation rental businesses include reaching new markets, increasing the authority of your online presence, attracting targeted and quality leads, growing your reputation and developing your vacation rental brand.
Essentially, travel publications write about what their readers are interested in. The growth of interest in vacation rentals as an accommodation option for travelers equals a greater opportunity for coverage. The format that travel features can take is varied. They include destination features, round-ups, accommodation reviews or are focussed around a type of vacation or activity. For any travel feature or travel blog that is commissioned, there always needs to be included information on how travelers can also experience that destination or activity. Offering a vacation rental stay as an alternative accommodation is very appealing. Also, most publications feature regular round-ups of best vacation rentals in a particular destination, or for a guest type.
For a single property owner to get coverage, they need to be really targeted and clever about where they focus their attention and which relationships to develop. A really good place to start for single owners would be to start building a conversation with travel writers that have a particular interest in their destination. Another place to begin being strategic about PR is to work with your own local media and regional press, as well as the PR department of your local tourism body. Think about offering a hosted press stay in return for coverage. Another way of getting coverage is to write a compelling blog post about your destination, of course with your property as the call to action, for inclusion on third party sites.
Firstly, don’t spam! Relationships need to develop organically and be mutually beneficial for both parties. Do your research first to find out what a journalist is interested in, and what they already write about. Get to know their audience. Be succinct with your information and make sure you include a compelling message. It’s really important to also include basic information like your contact details, website, and price per night. It’s amazing how many people forget this!
We specialise in telling the story about your vacation rental business in a way that will attract and engage new and existing audiences, and we help you develop a strategy towards implementing successful PR with positive outcomes. We achieve this by building relationships with your targeted media and pitching your story in order to ensure successful coverage through travel features, targeted blogs, and social media. In today’s competitive market, your reputation (both on – and offline) can be your biggest asset – the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and gives you a competitive edge. Effective PR can help manage and enhance your reputation by communicating and building good, trustworthy relationships. These relationships can then help you reach your goals, whether these goals include driving traffic to your website, attracting the right guests to your property, growing your portfolio of owners, or building trust in your brand to increase the rate of enquiry conversions.
Jessica Gillingham is the director of Abode PR, a PR agency specializing in servicing solely the international vacation rental industry. Jessica started her career in the travel industry working for a Canada specialist tour operator. Over the years, Jessica has worked with many brands, big and small (some travel and some not) and is a member of the Chartered Institute for Public Relations.