A friend of mine is an avid golfer. He plays twice a month, on weekends, with a group of 25 – 30 people and they regularly play different courses across the State.One weekend, they decided to go to a Hotel and Spa resort about two hours from their City because it had been getting some recent publicity. It had been operating for some years but never seemed to have the success it’s location and facilities seemed to deserve. The resort was now under new management and was promoting the fact that it was ‘different’ and ‘relaxing’ and ‘catered for everyone’, and it had an 18-hole golf course.
It was also known that the resort had less than 50% occupancy and even less on the weekends because it still had the previous owners’ reputation for poor service – can you see a great public relations opportunity here?So my friend and his 29 golfing buddies decided to go for the weekend. Two nights accommodation, a couple of games of golf, and eating & drinking within the resort – a real guy’s weekend. 30 adults – that’s a lot of eating and drinking.How much discount do you think the resort offered to attract 30 adults for 2 nights? How much ‘public relations’ do you think 30 adults would ‘viral market’ to their friends if they had a good time?Think of what you would do? A complimentary drink on arrival? A bottle of wine in each room? Half-price golf passes? Half-price golf buggy hire? Complimentary appetizer at dinner?The resort could have offered even one or two reasonably inexpensive ‘gifts’ and my friend and his golfing buddies would have thought it was marvellous. They didn’t expect free accommodation or free meals. Just a little effort from the resort to say “we appreciate your business”Amazingly, the resort did not offer any kind of discount or incentive. They missed on the perfect opportunity for 30 adults to give credibility to the resort’s own advertising. They also lost the business of 30 people because my friend took his buddies somewhere else for their weekend.
Don’t let a public relations opportunity like that slide past YOUR business.If you are embarking on an advertising campaign, ensure your public relations also measures up to the offers and promises you are making. Public relations is the best third-party endorsement you can get. And it’s value is far more than any paid advertising will be.