Innkeepers (as you know) are busy. So, sitting in front of a computer to respond to a media query is a luxury not everyone can afford. And yet, that doesn’t mean you have to let an opportunity for great press pass you by. There are things you can do to stay ready when you’re on-the-go, like:
1. Create a fact sheet for your bed and breakfast. A fact sheet makes it easy for you to copy and paste key information quickly and effortlessly. What’s a fact sheet? It’s one sheet of paper with the basics that you put a lot of thought into once – then it’s done. In it have your address, phone, email, social channels. Also include how many rooms, info on common areas, amenities, and the history of your property. Make sure to list things to do nearby, as well as the closest airport and public transportation.
2. Create a place for photo downloads. Often a writer will ask for photos for a story and he or she doesn’t have an hour or more to wait for you to get back to your desk to send the images. The work around is for you to have a dedicated place for images to be quickly downloaded. Dropbox seems to be preferred by many media outlets and you can get an account for free. Upload 5-8 pictures – some vertical, some horizontal, all high-resolution and beautiful. The photos must be photos you have the rights to use. Save each image with the name of your B&B, a key word, and the photo credit info. Your file name will look like this: ABCInn_exterior1_CreditJohnDoePhotography.jpg. While you’re at it, add your fact sheet to your Dropbox too.
3. Send yourself yourself an email. In the subject line just write: dropbox.In the body of the email write something like:
Below please find a link to photos of ABC Inn on Dropbox that you may use. Please credit: John Doe Photography. Should you need anything else please let me know.
4. Make a folder in your email called "PR." Save your Dropbox email in your new PR folder. The next time a writer requests images, pull up this email, personalize an intro and copy/paste the part about the photos. This saves you the time from having to go fish for the Dropbox link and rewrite the same 2-3 sentences every time. Always remember NOT to attach photos unless the writer specifically requests you to do that. Just like all of us, writers are often hesitant to open emails with unsolicited attachments for fear of a virus. Plus, large files can cram an inbox, and who needs that?
5. Save your sent email. Right after you send your email, go to your sent mail and immediately place that email in your PR folder. This way you can quickly reference what you sent and to whom. Keep in mind if you're replying to a query from Help a Reporter Out the email you reply to will most likely expire when the query comes to an end. We suggest you copy/paste the HARO query beneath your signature line so you have a reference of what you responded to in event more information is required, or in case there's an opportunity to follow up.
So, go ahead and scroll through your HAROs at the grocery line. While you may not know it for a while, you could very well secure a press placement by the time you pay the cashier.