Importance Of Public Relations In The Hospitality And Tourism Industry

The concept of Public Relations

Marketing forms an essential aspect of all the organizations and any firm which wants to improve its image in the eyes of the different customers’ needs to ensure that it engages in successful long term relationship with the different customers which improves the goodwill as well as the revenue of the accommodation firm (Coombs and Holladay 2013). Public relations is one such branch under the concept of marketing which is popularly used in order to ensure that the relationship of the organization with its guests can improve. The primary aim of the given essay is to examine the importance of the Public relations in a guest facing industry and understand the concept better with the help of various examples.

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Discussion

The concept of Public Relations

The concept of public relations can be rightfully described as the maintenance of a positive public image of the organization by making use of various agencies or by the actions of an institution or a person.

According to Culbertson and Chen (2013), in the modern day management, the organization needs to make extensive use of the concept of public relations in order to maintain sustainable consumer relations with its guests.  Moreover, public relations runs with the primary motive of ensuring that customers can be easily retained in the chosen domain of business for repeated visits or services.

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The importance of good public relations in the hospitality and tourism industry

The hospitality and the tourism industry is one such domain which is primarily concerned with the guest facing component. It deals with the customers on one to one basis and any kind of defame on the organization may lead to a huge impact on the future of the hotel. Hence, the importance and application of the Public Relations concept in the domain of the hospitality and the tourism industry needs to be the maximum. The importance of good public relations for the industry have been discusses in this section.

Cutlip (2013) states that he public relations will assist in additional credibility. Although the different advertisement of the different hotels in this industry are very interesting and comprise of various ways to attract the audience. However, public relations serve as a useful technique to engage in better number of guests.

Secondly, the public relations method of advertisement is quite inexpensive in nature and moreover, has additional benefits. Thirdly, the method of public relations will help the different hotels in generating larger sales leads which will have a positive impact on the sector. Thirdly, it adds the concept of differentiation in its operations and does not have to be limited in the form of additional advertising aspects.

The importance of good public relations in the hospitality and tourism industry

The last benefit of the public relations in the hotel industry is that it tends to possess the power of engaging customers as well as the employees. Qrunig and Qrunig (2016) believe that this aspect of public relations takes into its compass the customer interest as well as the employee skills. Hence, due to the different benefits as given in this section, the hospitality and the tourism sector could apply the different public relations concept to ensure success in the long run.

 Manner in which a good hotel business ‘create’ good public relations

The hotels can try and remove any negative perception which has been formed by the different incidents with respect to the hotel. According to Pearson (2017), using the public relations, the hotel can ensure that the negative comments of the critics and the rival hotels can be justified. Moreover, public relations techniques like celebrity updates and blogging can help a hotel successfully by acting as a medium to provide travel tips to the different customers which enhances their discounts as well as lifestyle tips.

Moreover, it also glorifies the different services which are provided by the organization which then assists the customers to be more aware. In addition to the above stated uses of the public relations a hotel can also ensure that it engages in various programs which assists it to gain potential customers as well as retain the old customers (Rice and Atkin 2012).

Examples of good and poor public relations

In order to elucidate upon the concept of public relations and its application as well as importance in the domain of public relations, various examples belonging to different hotels can be examined in order to understand the aspect in a better manner. An example of the good public relations by the hotels can be given about the Hilton group of hotels. According To the Screenpilot.com. (2018), the organization has teamed up with the satire publications The Onions for a multi-pronged strategy which encouraged the different guest’s base to take a break from work and instead apply that time in the form a stay in the Hilton hotel.

Moreover, the hotel group had also employed various brand ambassadors so as to be successfully able to gain popularity. On the other hand, several hotels in the United States have gained bad publicity and lead to huge losses with respect to their ownership which is linked with The Sultan of Brunei. The Sultan had come up with various Islamic and Shariah laws which led to the boycott of his several properties and has impacted various hotels in this domain which have investments by the Sultan.

Manner in which a good hotel business ‘create’ good public relations

Impact of poor public relations

After the analysis it can be understood that there are several positive benefits of public relations in an organization and any firm which aims to gain success in the long run can apply the concepts public relations, however, if the public relations goes negatively with the customers, it is deemed to have various negative outcomes in terms of the guest and hotel relationships. Poor public relations can cause a loss of customer base and revenues on the side of the organization. Moreover, it can also have an impact on the brand name of the hotels (Morrison 2013). The brand name of the hotel is of utmost importance and if that is tampered with it leads to a loss on the side of the hotel.

Linking Public Relations to the overall ‘experience’ of the guest

The guest experience forms a critical part of the stay of the guest at the hotel and thereby it is the duty of the organization to ensure that in order to be successful in the long run, a link between the public relations and the overall experience of the guest is present. This can be done in two critical mannerisms which can be defined as mitigation and the amplification.  In the mitigation aspect, the role of a public relations is to ensure that it is able to mitigate the crises which takes place in the hotels in case of a crisis.

Morris and Goldsworthy (2016), believe that the public relations must assist an organization to intercept the existing crises in hand and mitigate it at the beginning stage itself without letting the crises affect the business in the future. Hence, the public relations team as well as the customer experience team need to work together to ensure long term success (Grunig and Grunig 2013). Moreover, in scenarios, where the customer experience of a hotel is exceptional in nature then the Public relations in this scenario needs to ensure that it amplifies the issue, positively and quickly. A success story needs to be formed in order to ensure it reaches the target audience and uplifts the organization`s name.

Relation of PR to Adults as well as the children

Moreover, it needs to be noted that public relations are not just limited to the adult guests but are also related to the child guests. According to Kunczik (2016), the children tend to have a great impact on the decision made by the parents and if the parents come to know that a certain hotel is child friendly, then, they are more likely to book those hotels and hence, public relations is also related to target audience other than the adults.

Examples of good and poor public relations

Perception gaps and the impact on public relations

Perception gap can be defied as the concept whereby the different communication aspects which are conveyed by the organization to the customers are not understood in the right manner by the target audience. The target audience can be peers, clients and even partners. The perception gap has a huge impact on the public relations as it tends to reduce the impact of the marketing motive (Rinrattanakorn 2012). For instance, if the consumers are not able to understand what the public relations campaign meant then in that way, it may have a negative impact on the brand name of the firm.

Importance of service recovery

In the hotel industry, service recovery tends to play a major role (Dozier, Grunig and Grunig 2013). The service recovery aspect helps in ensuring that an opportunity is fostered which will assist the organization to create a huge fan base  but also offers an opportunity to processes and rectify the system that lead to the problem in the first place. This means that the service recovery not only helps an organization to gain the lost customers but also to migrate the shortcomings in the system.

Conclusion

Therefore, from the given analysis of the Public relations as an important aspect to be applied in the hotel and tourism industry it could be understood that the application of the public relations plays a critical role in the hospitality industry and provides various benefits. However, the marketing team needs to understand the different concepts as associated with it and apply the procedure so that it benefits the organization in a positive manner.

References

Coombs, W.T. and Holladay, S.J., 2013. It’s not just PR: Public relations in society. John Wiley & Sons.

Culbertson, H.M. and Chen, N. eds., 2013. International public relations: A comparative analysis. Routledge.

Cutlip, S.M., 2013. The unseen power: Public relations: A history. Routledge.

Dozier, D.M., Grunig, L.A. and Grunig, J.E., 2013. Manager’s guide to excellence in public relations and communication management. Routledge.

Grunig, L.A. and Grunig, J.E., 2013. The relationship between public relations and marketing in excellent organizations: evidence from the IABC study. In Public Relations and Communication Management (pp. 93-118). Routledge.

Kunczik, M., 2016. Images of nations and international public relations. Routledge.

Morris, T. and Goldsworthy, S., 2016. PR-a persuasive industry?: Spin, public relations and the shaping of the modern media. Springer.

Morrison, A.M., 2013. Marketing and managing tourism destinations. Routledge.

Pearson, R., 2017. Business ethics as communication ethics: Public relations practice and the idea of dialogue. In Public relations theory (pp. 111-131). Routledge.

Qrunig, L.A. and Qrunig, J.E., 2016. Toward a theory of the public relations behaviour of organizations: Review of a program of research. In Public relations research annual (pp. 37-74). Routledge.

Rice, R.E. and Atkin, C.K. eds., 2012. Public communication campaigns. Sage.

Rinrattanakorn, P., 2012. Public relations campaign. Sripatum University.

Screenpilot.com. 2018. 5 Cool Hotel PR Campaigns.