Advertising A Hotel
( Originally Published 1902 )
In the New York Evening Telegram appears this rather neat way of advertising hotels and restaurants. The stranger on Manhattan Island is frequently in a quandary as to which hotel to stop at. A list (like this) is of decided value to hotels and strangers—in fact to everybody having anything to do with hotels.
The average hotel proprietor shudders at the expense of advertising in his local paper. The above method can be used in almost any town by several hotels combining—each to take a small space. Several small spaces-say that each was half an inch deep—would make, as a total, a very respectable space;" impressive and obtrusive enough to enlighten any traveler and sure to be productive of results.
Hotels should be advertised.
Hotels are public necessities—they have something to sell the public in the shape of food, drink, lodging and accommodations generally. There is a vast army of travelers and transients looking for such service. And advertising will show where this service can be had.
I remember that once while stopping at a hotel in Denver the proprietor approached me on the possibility of increasing his patronage by advertising.
His was principally a family hotel. We discussed the matter two or three evenings while seated out on the porch and smoking cigars. (Ever notice how well two men can talk under such conditions—how smoothly ideas run?)
The result was that I wrote a book of about twenty-four pages about the hotel. It was illustrated with interior and exterior views of the hostelry. Several thousand were printed. It made a strong bid for family and permanent patronage. For this reason I had no hesitation in making daily lists of all new arrivals in Denver and mailing each a booklet. That was all the advertising done, but it was successful.
I know a bright but somewhat impecunious young news-paper man who got a job last summer as a publicity-promoter undercover to a fashionable seaside hotel. In other words he had to keep his real business under cover. He was apparently a guest—certainly on the same footing as the other guests-but he was thus wise different from the other guests for it was his duty to keep the doings at the hotel as much as possible in the newspapers. As he had some friends in the newspaper business and as he was a good worker the result was that his hotel had more newspaper talk about it than all the other hotels at this particular watering place put together.
He earned his salary and had a good time while the hotel proprietor saw his hotel patronized to an unusual degree before the season was fairly under way. His guests seeing the hotel so often mentioned in the press were convinced that it was the fashionable hotel—therefore THE only hotel to stop at.
Outside of good service and fair prices the best way to build up a hotel patronage is by advertising. And when the advertising question comes up it resolves itself into telling the story about the good accommodations and moderate prices to the greatest number of people likely to take advantage of them. Logically the medium that best accomplishes this is the local paper.
If the hotel is a " summer resort hotel " prospective patrons can be reached by advertising at the beginning of a season in publications that reach them. Another good way is by mailing at the same time to a carefully culled list of names a bright booklet. If the hotel is a "winter resort hotel" the same methods can be used to advantage.
It is an easy matter to write advertising about a hotel. The location, scenery, accessibility, building, management, cuisine, service, rates and other details can all be brought out in bold yet pleasing relief in hotel advertising of any kind.