Five Methods To Source Great Ideas For Hotel Storytelling

February 20, 2024

Many journalists simply tack a hotel onto the end of a story as practical information, but creative and innovative hotel storytelling can be so much more powerful. Hotels need to ensure that engaging angles are reaching the media through more effective pitching. That means a bit more upfront research will be required!

When it comes to pitching new ideas, focusing on new unique properties and openings is essential. The untold stories and evolutions of legacy properties, however, are also potential fuel for pitches. 

How do hotels, however, look beyond room counts and location to showcase themselves as more than just convenient accommodations? These five considerations are creative ways to check into some more engaging hotel storytelling.

1. Talk to architects and designers

Buildings are fascinating – and they interest more than just travel publications. Hotel marketers need to talk to the architects and designers behind their big-name structures to understand what makes them tick. By learning more about inspiration and sustainability efforts, for example, hotels can package pitches for a wider range of publications.

The added bonus is having a human being to help put a face on the hotel and humanize it as more than a place just to sleep, but an experience to behold. Sounds lofty, but that’s what good hotel storytelling will do for a property.

2. Dive into the spas and amenities

Oh there’s a brand name on your amenities? Sigh. That’s not really that novel anymore. Instead, what features in the spa are actually noteworthy and surprising? What about the amenities makes them worth a mention in a story? Hotel storytelling needs to go beyond the brand name and to the choice behind it.

Hotel marketers need to ask these questions to uncover story angles that haven’t been shared with the press yet to get them interested in covering properties in more detail. This may mean interviewing people who work at the spa or – and we’re here to volunteer – test out the spa amenities in person to understand what makes them special.

3. Focus on dining and culinary prowess

Like amenities, having a hotel restaurant isn’t exactly groundbreaking (read that in the voice of Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada). That doesn’t mean that restaurants aren’t exciting. Is there a notable chef, a sustainability effort, a composting service, a menu concept, or some other daring initiative that sets the hotel restaurant apart? Such angles are key to effective hotel storytelling. 

Travelers expect to dine in a hotel. With that in mind, hotel marketers need to find that extra special detail that visitors aren’t expecting. Serve that up to travel journalists to get them excited to share your property with their audiences.

4. Cozy up to concierges about special experiences

Journalists won’t care that the concierge can plan babysitting and car services. That’s like saying the hotel gardener waters the plants. But if there are special experiences or services that a concierge can provide, like booking a backstage tour of an opera house or getting you to meet the chef of a local restaurant for a cooking class, now things are getting interesting.

Concierges are full of knowledge and stories that hotel marketers can tap if they cultivate the right relationships with them. Travel journalists will thank you for taking the extra step.

5. Dig through the social feeds and mine comments

When all else fails, see what the people are saying. Taking a fine-tooth comb through reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, or any social media site will reveal some hotel storytelling ideas that can be repackaged for media pitches. You may be surprised to learn things about your own hotel this way!

Of course, it is important to verify and corroborate any social media content before blending it into a pitch. Online networks are notoriously as unreliable as they are rich with useful information. Still, they can be the places to find those story pitch ideas that will have journalists clamoring to publish about your property.

Looking for ways to level up your hotel storytelling to reach the media more effectively? DCI has more than 60 years of destination marketing experience, leveraging unique storytelling in the hospitality industry to help attract the right kind of attention. Get in touch with Kayla Leska at [email protected] to learn more about DCI’s storytelling know-how.

Written by

Kayla Leska

Vice President