As a public relations professional in the tourism industry, I handle the communications for Hotel Valley Ho, a AAA four-diamond hotel in downtown Scottsdale, Ariz. My daily activities include several traditional and nontraditional public relations tasks such as:
We frequently have journalists visit and then write about the hotel. They either contact us directly or they are a lead from one of our local convention and visitors bureaus. We get primarily travel journalists, but also receive writers and editors from publications about food, spas, design and more. I coordinate their entire visit, including providing a press kit, assisting with planning daily activities, taking them on a tour of the hotel grounds and often joining them for a meal in our signature restaurant, ZuZu. It is my job to ensure they have a pleasant stay and become educated about the property. After they depart, I follow up and thank them for their visit and assist them with anything they may need for their articles.
We often have on-site shooting or filming, whether it be a feature film, short film, television show, commercial, product photo shoot or editorial spread. It is important for us to maintain a balance between shoot activity and guest satisfaction. Though we want to ensure that the crews shooting get the footage they want, we also want to ensure that our guests are happy and comfortable. I coordinate these shoots and arrange for trades with local photographers to increase our library of lifestyle photography.
I create videos to share on our YouTube page, website and social media pages. I also take photos of our food and drinks. These images have been used by the hotel for print advertisements and online, and they have been included in media coverage as well. In many instances, I have been able to get a mention in articles only because I had a photo to go along with it. This has been a great tool — journalists are always in need of great photography.
The best thing about my job is spreading the word about a place I love. I also enjoy working for a business that is locally and independently owned and managed; it provides a lot of flexibility and freedom in the way I work.
What experiences have you had in travel and tourism public relations? How do the responsibilities of professionals in different specialties compare?
Kristin Heggli is the communications and public relations manager for Hotel Valley Ho. She holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in tourism and history with a minor in film and media production from Arizona State University. She is a member of the Phoenix Chapter of PRSA.