Dec 2, 2009

Need PR and Marketing Help? Ask Away! Q & A with Jennifer Rodrigues of TravelInk’d

By Jennifer Rodrigues

Reprinted from

Q: I’ve been doing my own PR campaign for the last three months and I haven’t gotten any responses from the media.  What am I doing wrong?

A: Without knowing all of the details of your campaign, most likely the stories that you are pitching aren’t considered “newsworthy” by the media.  PR is about storytelling and storytelling is only effective when people are listening.  Before sending out your next press release or before picking up the phone and calling a journalist, ask yourself this – is this really newsworthy to everyoneIf I was a consumer, would I truly care about this news?  Be objective. If the answer is no, then it’s a safe bet that journalists won’t care either.

So what makes a story newsworthy?  Here are the key aspects of what makes a story newsworthy to a journalist:

Timeliness – The story has to be current, to have happened recently or at least be related to something happening currently.

Prominence – By linking your property to someone who has a degree of prominence in public society, you’ll increase your chance of being covered by the media. For example, if a big-time celebrity or well-known figure stays at your hotel, perhaps that could be tied into your next pitch. And to make your story even stronger, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Proximity – Your story must have a local angle.  If you’re pitching a story to regional media, tell them why the story would be of interest to people who live in the area.  When you’re pitching a national newspaper or magazine, your story must relate directly to the people who read the publication.  Show the journalist that you’ve thought about their readers and show them how your story will affect their readership and they are much more likely to write about your story.

Significance – To be significant, a story must affect more than just a few people.  Show the media how your story affects many people in the particular region that the publication reaches.

Unusualness – If you’re doing something different, the media will be more interested in your story.  So if all your competitors are rashly discounting to bring in guests, tell the media how you’re using a different tactic (and how it isn’t cutting into your bottom line) and you’ll have a great story to pitch to the media.

Human Interest – People are interested in hearing about other people, not about corporations and businesses.  So instead of telling the media a story about how profitable your hotel is, try telling them about how people’s lives have been changed by your hotel.  (NOTE: If you are pitching a business publication, you will need to focus on the numbers rather than the people but for most other types of media outlets, this rule holds true.)

Conflict – Conflict creates news. Try standing up against the majority opinion and offering a different way of thinking about a situation or problem.  It will make the media sit up and take notice.

Newness – If you have a new product, new service, new idea, tell the media about it.  Being the first is a great way to catch media’s attention.

Q: I’m redoing my marketing materials now – website, making new sales brochures, etc. – and I keep hearing about photo resolution and image size and I have no idea what it means. Can you explain to me the difference between low- and high-res images and what type of photo is best for each type of marketing material?

A photo’s resolution refers to how many dots or pixels make up the image.  It is measured by the number of pixels that appear in an inch (ppi).  In general, the more pixels in the image, the more crisp it will look.

A photo online will look as good at 72ppi (low-res) as it will at 300 ppi (high-res), so for your website re-design you can use low-res images.  They take up less memory and will work perfectly for the online medium.

When you’re printing images, however, if you don’t use a high enough resolution photo, it will look grainy or blurry.  For a good quality printed photo, you’ll need a high-res photo with at least 300 ppi so be sure that any photos included in your brochures, on signs, on printed marketing materials are of high enough resolution.

If you don’t have photos that are high-enough resolution, it is better to spend the money on having a professional take the photos for you at the proper resolution, rather than just use low-res images.  A grainy or blurry photo on your property’s marketing materials makes your property look cheap and unprofessional, an image that you certainly don’t want to portray when you’re trying to bring in new clients.

Did this information help you?  If you have other questions, I’d love to hear from you – please don’t be shy!  Send an email to

And don’t forget to check back twice a month for more PR and Marketing Q&As.

About Jennifer Rodrigues

jennifer_rodriguesJennifer Rodrigues, Visibility Specialist with ThinkInk and TravelInk’d, is a seasoned public relations professional with a passion for the hospitality industry, which is expressed in her role at ThinkInk’s travel division, TravelInk’d.  At TravelInk’d, she is responsible for developing cost-effective and creative public relations and marketing strategies for clients in the travel and tourism, airline, lodging, cruise and meeting/event sectors.  For more information on TravelInk’d, please visit or contact Jennifer at

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