The owner of an exotic hotel and restaurant approached me to represent his hotel as a publicist. I could see plenty of money had been spent on the architecture, decor and delectable cuisine but staff, PR and marketing budgets were NOT a priority.
Strange how so many people with money but with no experience in hotel management will not pay enough for experienced staff, PR and marketing representation to make their investment work for them.
The contract clearly stated we’d need to supply the high-end culinary and travel media with complimentary bed nights and meals to encourage them to visit and review this hotel and its internationally trained chef.
For six months, I was called to a ‘meeting’ twice a month to ‘explain’ why I was giving the press complimentary visits as they would NOT ‘appreciate’ the quality of the venue if it was free! The owner’s partner, who was managing the hotel, kept telling me her ‘husband’ was getting ‘very cross’ even as I reminded her to re-read the contract.
The value of the media coverage had amounted to hundreds of thousands of rands in editorial space value, yet this made no impression on her and I was informed they’d be able to buy advertising space at about R5 000 per full page in glossy magazines!
When the owner accidently copied me in on an email to his paramour asking her WHY the media were STILL getting complimentary rooms and food, I decided not to renew the contract.
The ‘manager’ has since placed me on their database, bombarding me with weekly ‘specials’ written in atrocious mispelt English. I’ve seen nothing in the press about them since my media blitz ended and I cannot imagine why …