Five Recommendations for Hotels with Small PR Budgets

March 19, 2024
Happy baby taking hotel key card from hotel receptionist

Hotels with small PR budgets can still make a big impression. More spending doesn’t automatically equal more results — or even better results, for that matter. 

Being resourceful and clever is exactly how David took down Goliath. While we’re not advocating for throwing stones at anyone’s head, hotels with small PR budgets can do more with less using the same mindset.

These five recommendations are great ways to start thinking strategically about optimizing your hotel’s small PR budget without sacrificing the results you seek.

1. Lean Into Holidays Year-Round

Our experience with travel writers makes one thing clear: journalists always need good fodder. And they want it to be fresh. Timeliness is everything for them, so having a timely hook linked to packages or special deals is a strong way to attract their attention.

Even if the package you are touting doesn’t sell massively, any coverage you get will have helped to capture consumer attention. Maybe they didn’t book this time, but you’re top of mind when the next package rolls around – for consumers and travel journalists. 

Get inspired by packages like Club Wyndham’s Hallmark Channel Holiday Suites or Hyatt’s Show Your Pride deals.

2. Collaborate with Local Influencers:

Whether they’re foodies or family travelers, influencers are powerful allies for your hotels. Identify local influencers or micro-influencers who align with your hotel’s brand. Reach out to them and collaborate on content creation or hosting small events to showcase your property and its services. 

Influencers love working with brands that allow them to be creative and innovative. It’s a cost-effective way for them to gain access to unique experiences that they need while allowing you to get your message in front of their often very robust online audiences of potential travelers.

3. Educate DMO PR Team

Spend time, not just money, by educating partners who can help get your hotel’s brand out there. Working with your local destination marketing organization, present your hotel to their marketing team and any external agencies working with them. They are experts in their destination, but they don’t know everything about it. 

Hotels that make a good impression and propose a face to connect with will inevitably have greater chances of being touted when the DMO promotes the destination. Put in the time now to make sure you’re top of mind when they attend conventions, organize familiarization trips, hold road shows, and produce social media content.

4. Build a PR Team Coop-Style

While you probably don’t want to partner with other hotels in your local market — because, well, they are the competition — there’s less risk partnering with similar hotel brands in other markets. Consider pooling your resources to hire a PR team together with hotels in these other markets. This way, you can allocate part of your hotel’s small PR budget to a bigger project while benefiting from the contributions of other hotels, as well.

It’s a win for all of you as your publicist works to tell all of your stories without worrying about competing for travelers in one destination.

5. Leverage Social Media

Social media — heard of it yet? Of course you have. While there are a lot of ways you could spend money using social media on paid ads and placements, the savviest of brands know how to use it for free. Engage on these social media platforms to share compelling stories, showcase your hotel’s unique features, and interact with your audience.

Create shareable content that encourages guests to spread the word about their experiences. This is a fun and easy way to get more eyeballs on your brand without worrying about your hotel’s small PR budget.

Longing to find more ways to get big PR results with your PR budget? DCI is here to help. Get in touch with Kayla Leska at [email protected] to learn more about working with our PR team to get the coverage your hotel brand needs and craves.

Written by

Kayla Leska

Vice President