What Is Public Speaking? & Why Is It Important?, The Trade Press - Definition + Tips


What Is Public Speaking? & Why Is It Important?, The Trade Press - Definition + Tips

 Public Speaking

The lodging industry in tourism only competes with itself, and thus only vies internally for a share of a market upon which it has imposed artificial limitations. It's time this industry took its cue from the outside business world and expanded its markets. This means crossing boundaries and competing with any industry that is after any part of the consumer discretionary dollar. To do that will require new 'product' features, a new image, and new marketing techniques.


Press Relations

The time may come when you need the friendship of the press; for example, in the event of some catastrophe, like a fire at your place of business. If they know you and like you and you ask them nicely and politely to play it down, their story may say merely "at a downtown restaurant (or hotel). To get this kind of helpful and friendly cooperation in a "bad news" situation, you must do several things in your dealing with the press.

Don't lie to them.

Don't cover up — you '11 just make them suspicious and they '11 dig and come up with a big negative story.

Be completely helpful.

Tell them all you know.

Answer their questions as best you can and don't hesitate to say frankly 'I don't know, if you really don't know.

Ask them to do you a favour and play the story down if it's a robbery, murder, suicide or anything equally disturbing. Skip Shepherd the long-time General Manger of the Dupont Plaza Hotel in Miami, hold a huge press party every St. Patrick's Day March 17th. The whole party is Irish. Everything is green. Green carnation for the ladies, green derby hats for the men. Irish music, Irish singers and cloggers are for entertainment. When there's good news about the DuPont Plaza, it really gets maximum coverage. When there's bad news, it's usually played way down. One good easy way to stay in touch with the press is a monthly newsletter, if you have one you can't make one up just for the press, but if you have a newsletter which you send your guests or distribute inside the house, send it to your publicity list. If you produce a new printed brochure, new menu, new postcard — mail them to your press list. Whenever the press comes into your operation, invited or not, really strain yourself to help them any way you can. Always treat them as if they're doing you a favour — because they are, ten to one. Be a good guy — don't ever try to be the aloof big shot. You may make ten times the salary of the young newsperson but you should treat him or her as your equal or better. Publicity can be a great and wonderful sales tool if you use it right. The best and most result- producing publicity is the mention that appears in newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations, because these media talk to the general public and reach thousands and thousands of potential customers. As mentioned earlier, you should compile, and keep up to date, a list of the news, travel, food, and special feature editors of all the newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations in at least a 250- mile radius of your operation.


The Trade Press

Trade press publicity, or that which appears in the newspapers and magazines of your industry, has a strong but different impact on helping you bring in business. These publications talk primarily to other people in the hospitality world, including, of course, your competition. The other people in your industry are often in a position to send you business

or to give you extra strong word- of mouth advertising, because a recommendation from a fellow professional is very impressive to the buying public. Particularly potent are the publication of the travel and meeting industries. Travel magazines and papers talk to travel agents and transportation people who book, carry, and deliver customers to you. The magazines of the airlines that serve your area are great publicity media. The meetings industry publications talk directly to professionals who arrange corporate and association meetings of all sizes from 20 people to 20,000 in one get- together. You should work the trade press religiously, constantly, repeatedly — but all in keeping with the basic precepts of good publicity as outlined in detail.


Here is the "Trade press" list assembled by the Hotel Sales Management Association International. 

This covers most of the top publications in the field


Public Speaking

Audience; for the speaker, it's a sales opportunity. Any public appearance whether a full speech or just a "cameo" introducing a speaker or making an announcement is great exposure for the individual and the organization he or she represents. Almost anyone can speak effectively, but there are a few basic ground rules to follow.

Almost anyone can speak effectively, but there are few basic ground rules to follow. Public speaking doesn't have to be overwhelming, flashy, or sensational. It does have to be carefully organized. Don’t ever accept a request to talk on any subject at any time unless you really know it and unless you've already got something carefully planned and, worked out or you’ve got plenty of time to plan and prepare, precisely and carefully. This preparation, planning, and pattering all applies to any presentation whether it's a one minute introduction or announcement.



Prepared means write it out in detail. Rehearse it re-write it. Read it into a tape recorder. Listen to it, Correct it Listen to it again. Headline it. Reduce each thought to one liner notes in CAPS so that, when you're talking, it won't look like you're reading. You’re not reading - you're re referring to notes the simplest, clearest and best format for paining a presentation is in a very small book, The Madism Avenue Speech Book. If you follow what it tells you, it will be easy to make a good speech.

The whole presentation has many details of how to plan and present a talk but it really boils down to two major points: Split it up" and Dress it up." The first point, "Split it up," means to divide your talk into several sections. Let your audience know there are six (or three or whatever) points to be covered. Then, knowing what to expect where you are at all times. Your audience will be relaxed and receptive. Likewise, you will be aware of how you're going and where you are. The second point, "Dress it up," covers many things, but basically, these: Don't stand still in a spot, moving using one flat tone of voice, without gestures, display, or action. Vary voice, without gestures, display, or action. Vary voice modulation to-emphasize key points. Use pauses when coming to something important. Move to another position visual facilities when you can, if they are available, or will fit into your talk. Some speakers use sound effects, either actual (horns, bells, whistles) or taped, and/or planted questions in the audience. If you’re just introducing someone, go through the same planning, even if the introduction only takes one minute. Write it down; read it aloud; check it, re-write it Know exactly what you're going to say before you get up- even if you only have five minutes’ notice. When you get up, stand as tall as you can; speak loudly and clearly. When you're finished, sit down promptly. Same thing if you're just reminding the audience about tonight'sbarbecue party on the pool deck.

Stand up so you can be seen. Speak out so you can be heard. Sit down so you’ll be liked. The speaker who gets up and delivers a smooth pitch with smooth-flowing, cohesive story has probably already given that same talk 20, 30, or 100 times. Don't ever ad-lib a single line. This same set of simplified public appearance guideline goes for every speaking opportunity. Panel discussions are usually unplanned, are on a general subject, and rely heavily on questions from the audience. If you're invited to join a panel, find out what precisely is expected of you and then prepare.

You don't have to be a spell-binder or a master orator to make good impression. The usual reason for speaking is to share knowledge. It's a great American institution — sharing-knowledge. It is one of the great factors in the success of America's free enterprise system.

Many organization and societies disseminate information in this way more effectively than any other way. So if you've got knowledge to share, you can make good presentation. You don't need stentorian tones, elegance of appearance or a dominating personality. We can't all look and sound imposing or clever or entertaining or funny. We can look intelligent and organized and professional through h carefully planning.


Over View

The articles that follow cover various aspects of publicity and public relations. The first by Aaron D. Cushman appeared in Lodging Hospitality Magazine.

The Power of Press Relations malignancy that is more certain than cancer to bring fiscal death to individuals, politicians, or corporations is Bad Press Relations.

Ron Nessen, former White House press secretary, showed signs of the affiliation. His predecessor, Ron showed signs of the affliction, his predecessor Ron Ziegler, quietly disappeared because of it. The careers of innumerable personalities either ceased abruptly or suffered a slow lingering termination such as Air Force General Curtis Le May, daredevil Evel Znievel, yes, even venerable and lovable Charlie Chaplin. This end result is an outgrowth of unpopular positions they held, indifference, lack of professionalism in their reporting techniques, or outright disdain for the power of the press. The converse is equally true. Media support for people services or products has the capability to skyrocket an unknown commodity into overnight prominence.

Recognising both the positive and negative probable results of relationships with the news media is at least indicative of awareness on the part of management to the importance of this aspect of public relations. It is only logical that before you can anticipate that the media will help you tell the consumer, you must first convince the media of the worth wholeness of your product or service and its unique elements. Since there is understanding of the key role of the news media, how then can you develop the most positive image to insure the strongest possible support?


Here are 16 ways to help achieve strong, positive press relations:

1 Understand their interests: The press is not in the public relations business. Your interests are not theirs. What your property chain feels is exciting may be too self-serving, too commercial in the eyes to the paper's editorial staff. Papers are interested in circulation and advertising linage. They build circulation by providing news and features of interest to their readers. Ergo, to obtain publicity space in print media or time on broadcast media, your material must appeal to their readers, listeners and viewers. In short, be able to recognize good news or feature story.

2. Know how to transmit your material: The publicity business is no place for amateurs. Editors are besieged with material from all corners of the globe and have tremendous demands upon their time. Anyone who has ever visited the city room of daily newspapers can attest to the fact that it is indeed a busy place. The bane of their existence is the sheer volume of written material, the quality or lack of it, and the massive lack of comprehension evident by those so- called publicity people who haven't yet learned the difference between news and features. By all means, direct hard news to the city desk, send features to the appropriate editor; i.e., entertainment, restaurant, fashion, business, sports real estate, etc.

3. Prepare your story properly: The receptiveness on the part of editors results from their recognition that they do not have sufficient staff to cover their market thoroughly. They need professional P.R. people to supplement their own reporters and photographers. The key word is "professional." In broad strokes, your material should be well thought out and written in news style. Study the publication's editorial style follow it.

4. Understand their problem: To all news people, problems can be translated to read "deadlines." If you're servicing national magazines with a story that has an element of timeliness, and the time is now, don't waste with time the many feature magazines. Most of these require deadlines 90-120 days in advance of publication. Only news publications, like Time and Newsweek, need be covered. In your city, you should know that most morning papers are on the streets the night before (usually 6 p.m.) and their copy deadlines are early afternoon (usually 2 p.m) Afternoon papers lock up features by midnight and news by 2 or 3a.m. to be on the streets by 9.a.m. Best chance to capture both A.M‘s and P.M's at a press conference would be to schedule your meeting in time to be finished by 11:30 am or 12 noon. These types of scheduling permits the P.M.'s to be on the street with your story in their last editions on the same day as your conference. A.M.`s have no problem.

5. Don't duplicate: Sure you want to hit all stations and papers. If it's news, you are entitled to transmit simultaneously to all media. If it's a feature, place it exclusively with one. If there are strong variations on the same material, and you've explored the extent to which one paper or station will cover, assuring yourself of fresh aspect of the story or a completely different angle, then go ahead with the dual placement. Always place column items exclusively. If the same note appears simultaneously through your efforts, you have committed editorial suicide.

6. Respond quickly to queries: When a news publication calls with a question, break your back to get the answer fast. Your editor will appreciate a prompt reaction and will be encouraged to contract your company again. All of which means increased positive exposure.

7. Be honest: You build credibility by providing candid straight-forward and inherently-honest material. Be as thorough as possible in your initial communication while still protecting private and privileged information if you' re announcing a new property, you are obligated to provide facts detailing location, size construction starting date, principals' names, architects, projected length of construction. You are not obligated to provide costs.

8. At all costs, avoid "No Comment": Counsel your management to avoid this phrase even when demanded by legal counsel. Do your best, even with attorneys, to find an alternative response. P.R. directors should maintain their integrity and fight the "No Comment.'

9. Be brief and accurate: Avoid adjectives and exaggerations. News space and time is at a premium, don't waste it with superfluous information not cogent to your basic story. Check your copy carefully to assure correct name spelling (corporate and individual), addresses, monetary figures square footage, staff size etc. Editorial stories should be bereft of phrases like, greatest, most tremendous, spectacular," etc. Leave that for the advertising copywriters to paraphrase Sgt. Friday, "just the facts."

10. Be creative: A good newsman will love a clever, creative new concept. He'll even admire a well- thought-out publicity stunt. By all means search constantly for a fresh approach.

11. Don't try to fool the press: Level with your editorial contacts. Even with a potentially negative story, you'll stand a better chance of gaining media understanding, if the press doesn't feel that you tried to fool them.

12. Be considerate and provide for their needs: If you're hosting a major event and anticipate prolonged time periods of media representatives being on your property, evidence some awareness as to their requirements is a 220- volt line necessary to help T.V. lights function properly? Do they need a press room stocked with multiple typewriters and phones? Would a teletype machine or telecopier be meaningful? What about refreshment? If they are registered at your hotel, did you send a VIP package? Certainly a credit line in a wire or syndicated story more than offsets your modest investment.

13. Have dignity that reflects your company: Even if the press does not reciprocate in kind, maintain your cool even under trying circumstances. Approach your station or publication on a business basis. Don't ask for favour. You may get your placement at a cost of your self —respect. Let the quality of your material speak for itself. Earn the media's admiration, however grudgingly, and you have made a giant step towards positive press relations.

14. Be scrupulously fair: Spread your good material without playing favorites or without following the line of least resistance, schedule release -items on an alternate basis- A .M.'s one day. P. M.'s the next.

15. Keep management visible: You counsel management against hiding in the face of a negative press.

16. Guide your hotel or company towards achieving recognition as a good community citizen:

How often I’ve been asked whether it's possible to buy good press relations and at what cost. Answer doesn’t try it. There may still be an occasional reporter on the take but these are dying bread and are few and far between today. You're most likely to incur their enmity with a bribe offer and in serious cases become personal non- grate. Nor is it realistic today that a drink or free lunch will make the difference. Most writers do not want to be obligated and, besides, they receive so many invitations that the good media reps are highly selective. How, then, can you gain their respect and support? Most important, be professional. Do your servicing job well. Next, offer sincere hospitality and be a good host sometimes when you aren't selling. Through your daily activities build a storehouse of good will against the day that you need that extra consideration. Unhappy events like a drowning in the pool, suicide, fire zooning disputes or storm damage are platforms for media expression. That's the time for the friendships you have worked hard to build to hopefully stand up and be counted. When it does, your management will realize that their modest investment, their confidence in your capability and judgment were indeed warranted for you will have tangibly demonstrated that you have helped your company achieve positive press relations.


What a Public Relations Person should do at a Hotel

• Conceive and implement a public relations programme as part of an overall communication programme which enhances the stature of the hotel, its personnel and

• Interpret public opinion to assist management.

• Maintain a steady flow of information which favorably presents the hotel, its personnel and activities to the various target audiences.

• Distribute appropriate information and photograph to select media, arrange for news presentation and personal appearances on radio and television.

• Create ideals and feature stories for such article as media can genuinely use.

• Be sensitive to all aspect of the inn keeping business which might be translated into publicity.

• Conceive appropriate subject and arrange appropriate news coverage of company and hotel executives and celebrities who might visit the hotel with appropriate respect for privacy.

Maintain effective relationship with trade associations chambers of commerce and conventier and tourist corporate and government representatives

• Assist in the development and coordination of proper cooperate and property standards for all printed and display materials

Make regular changes on bulletin boards, reader boards, lobby cards, elevator displays are to promote the property and its facilities to the public and to the hotel employees

• Develop and maintain good guest relations through welcoming letters, amenities, airport arrival greetings, and special attention, as appropriate

• Arrange for tours for community business or other groups important to the facility.

• Conceive idea and make suggestions for special promotions

• Maintain photo and biographical files on executives and up- to-date press kits.

• Assist in the creation and direction of promotional programmes for entertainment rooms, special events, holiday activities, and others in conjunction with catering, sales, or others appropriate departments.

• Serve as primary liaison between property and outside communication agencies, always keeping in mind that one person  usually the manager- should act as spokesperson f or the hotel.

• Maintain a clipping file of articles and arrange for their distribution to general manager and other appropriate executives.

• Maintain contact with the corporate public relations department.

• Edit and distribute in — house or external publicat ions.

• Assist in activities in which general manager and department heads are involved: community activity, employee meetings, speeches, etc.


What's Involved In Public Relations?

You can get a pretty good idea of what western International Hotels thinks is involved in public relations by the following index to the section on that subject from the WIH Marketing /Communications Guide: The meaning of the WIH Corporate Public relations Objective (" To create a favourable attitude toward the company among all its publics:).


The Corporate Public Relations Department.

The vehicle for public relations

These include: News, making ideas, events, features, personalities, speeches, etc.

The Professional Handling of Public Relations (pros and cons having a staff person, a PR consultant or a PR agency) Qualifications to consider

Contracting for Outside Services

Management's Responsibility in Public Relations Public Techniques (relation to advertising, definition of news, the publicist’s challenge, the basic requirements).

Choosing your media

Identifying your contracts

Establishing personal relationships

Corporate identity in the media

Creating news and news opportunities

News release (format production and distribution) Photographs and Broadcast Interviews Planning for an emergency Maintaining good PR during a strike

Civic and Community Relations

Informing Opinion Leaders

Employee Relations

Requests for Donations



New properties (Announcements, progress reports, in company; pre-opening, opening, etc.)

The WIH Marketing/ Communications Guide also include a checklist of public relations opportunities at a hotel:

• Activities and innovations of corporate or hotel executives and other employees.

• Events occurring within the property.

• Celebrities who visit the property (and agree to publicity).

• Appointments of key personnel

• Humorous events (at the desk, with luggage attendants, big tips, usually guests).

• Employee activities, (When the plaza in new York hired its first female luggage attendant formerly bellman — it was big news)

• Public service doings. Doing anything special with students?

• Special displays and features. (The St Francis in San Francisco has an employee whose main job is washing coins to make them sparkle - a long- time tradition. This story received enormous coverage around the country. And it was one way of supporting the hotel's position as an interesting and unusual place where there is sensitivity to tradition and the niceties of a bygone age.)

• Special events (a new band or vocal group, a group from a distant part of the globe, etc.) Actually, this is one of the most productive areas for publicity. Some examples from our own experiences; The Detroit plaza gave a reception for the city's cab drivers, many of whom had been to the hotel but had never gone inside. They were feted and given bumper stickers which read " I love Detroit or I Love Renaissance Center, Little cards to put under their visors which listed all the good thing: about downtown Detroit, a handbook with detailed information about the city, and various buttons and information about the city, and various buttons and badge. This was one way of supporting the overall objective of selling bota downtown Detroit and tie hotel. When the Olympic hotel in Seattle realizing that it’s local weekend business needed a boost. They brought the "Big Bands" back for an old-fashioned Friday afternoon tea dance. Might not work in every city, but in Seattle they came in droves and it received tremendous publicity. The Bay Shore in Vancouver, B.C, to kick off the local yachting season, posed the general manager with the Yacht club commodore waist- deep in the hotel swimming pool launching a miniature boat. It was a very funny picture that got coverage across the entire continent.

• Interviews with guests — celebrities who are willin g, convention representatives from unusual gatherings personnel of the facility, visiting corporate executives, general managers from other properties.

• Receipt of community awards.

The opening of another property in the corporation, for example when the Hotel Scandinavia in Oslo was opened, a breakfast for travel writers and reporters was held at the Plaza in New York with reindeer steak and cloudberries. They came and wrote about both the Hotel Scandinavia and the Plaza, anniversary celebrations for the company or property, speeches. Many times, talks to civic groups by hotel employees make news, especially if they have s strong local favour. Innsbruck. The great condominium golfing resort just north of Tampa, Florida entertains many group meetings — actually hundreds a year. Each of these meeting is news. To get accurate information about each group Inisbrook solicits the leaders of each organisation well in advance of their meetings. Above is the form Innisbrook uses to get the facts straight and to get the permission of the meeting organisation to send out publicity about the gathering.

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