Here are five things you can do to maintain your public image, performance and recognition and they all support the concept of attraction marketing. Your attraction factor is the key to winning or losing customers and it is your customer base who will extended your public image as they perceive it. The following tips apply to you and your agency staff.
- Knowledge Base: Without the knowledge you need to support what you market and what you sell, your public relations efforts will eventually run dry in terms of producing a return on your time, effort, and investment. Without a strong base of knowledge even your long-term clients will look for another agency when you can no longer satisfy what they need to know. To maintain your knowledge base of what you sell you’ll need to plan annual or bi-annual visits in order to remain current. This also gives you something to promote. It gives you one more PR article to post.
- Writing Skills: One of the most underrated components of public relations and overall travel marketing is the level of skill you have in writing content. To help you bolster your writing skills you’ll need to read. Read more books in general. Read travel-related posts and blogs of top-notch travel writers. Read high-end travel magazines. Get to know how the authors of those articles, through their words and phrases, lure you and everyone else to not only read on to the end, but also consider going ‘there’. Before you post a text-based article today you must develop the skill to attract and hold the reader’s attention. Look for local writing skills courses and invest one day and whatever it costs to learn the basics. Or, spend time with the marketing department of the suppliers you sell. Then you can learn from the creative minds behind the products.
- Speaking Skills: At some point in your PR, Media and Social Media campaigns you will be on stage, on air, on line… speaking to an audience right there in front of you or listening in from across the nation. Two things at play: how you look and how you speak. Main question is: are you attractive to listen to and can you hold the listeners’ attention? Your knowledge base supports your ability to speak with confidence. Practice enhances how you move, stay motivated and energized so that your tone of voice is captivating.
- Photography Skills: In today’s world of instant imagery and selfies there’s just no way you can post a fuzzy image of yourself or the destination you want to be known for. More PR campaigns fall flat due to the choice of images selected to support the copy. When you are creating your About Us / Me webpage for instance, you must look like the travel guru you propose to be. Choose between business dress or the attire you wear based on the type of travel you sell (adventure, cruise, etc.). Just make sure you look well-groomed, well-dressed, have a great smile and show you love the camera through your eyes. Let them sparkle. Yes guys too! Those open mouth, tongue out, devil horns hand signals images will be sent viral and your recognition factor will be high for all the wrong reasons! Let someone else take those PR shots and the key to getting the best look is to set the camera on ‘sports mode’ or ‘continuous mode’ – in that way, the camera will take a burst of images and then you will find an image where your eyes are open, your smile is great and everything looks as it should. Professional.
- Social Media Skills: As you know, social media and travel go hand in hand. Social media allows you to go public in a second. You can boost your image, your brand, your recognition and promote your performance as a travel seller to everyone who Likes you, Follows you, Links to you, loves what you Pin and more. Social media can also stop your business dead in the water if you do not pay attention to what you are posting and how you are being perceived online. Everything you do that is PR related can reach your audience faster through social media, but it has to be 100% correct or your image will suffer.
Whatever a customer or the general public sees, reads or hears about you be it online, in the local community paper or at a consumer event that becomes your brand to them. If they walk away thinking you’re professional, knowledgeable and easy to do business with, that’s your brand and that is your PR goal.
To reach that goal, stand back and take a long, hard look at yourself and your business and ask yourself, would you do business with a travel agent like that? Run what you post through the “So what?” factoring method. Read what you’ve written / posted and then ask: “So what?” Is there anything jumping out to the reader? Anything to grab their attention? Anything that promotes you as a true professional? Or is what you’ve posted or about to post just blurb. Says nothing, offers nothing and does nothing to boost your image. Ask yourself: Am I attractive to my clients? Is my PR campaign attractive to the prospective customer? Keep asking until you hear yourself reply with a resounding “YES!”
We hope you enjoyed Steve Crowhurst’s Friday Five, the second post during July’s “Promote Your Professionalism” campaign.