Within the general concept of Communication, its relationship with standard corporate image-making practices is being introduced. The most widespread practice is undoubtedly advertising, which – using both classical and modern techniques – is chosen by most businesses as a proven (?) mechanism to achieve the desired goal.
The content of the term ‘Advertising’ is broad, as proved by its etymology. Thus, the ways of achieving the goal are not strictly and formally defined. By excluding, of course, those which constitute unfair and/or illegal practices, the choice of the most appropriate ways should always depend on factors such as the average estimated level of the target group’s education, the degree of familiarity with the new means of disseminating knowledge and information, as well as the current economic situation after careful study. The economic factor is particularly highlighted for two main reasons: on the one hand large amounts of money are often spent on advertising without the expected results, and on the other hand because today we are experiencing a particularly adverse financial environment that requires prudent risk capital management without at the same time depriving the company of its promotion.
Thus, the modern hotel industry that operates within this framework should promptly redefine its advertising policy by adopting new/alternative ways of promotion. A survey conducted in print and electronic media confirmed that during the last two years hotels reduced sharply their spending in advertising, despite very attractive promotional packages. These cost-cutting efforts in combination with businesses’ need for visibility impose to introduce some low-cost creativity-based solutions that promise significant results.
One of these solutions is the development of an online magazine. This is quite different from a hotel’s usual professional website. It does not focus on the common presentation of the hotel’s space, services and prices, but shares the broader communication concept of “Business as an organization that interacts with its environment”. This e-magazine should be attached to the professional hotel’s website with a proper link that leads the visitor directly to it, and respectively there should be a link at the e-magazine leading directly to the corporate website. The e-magazine’s name should not be necessarily identical with the name of the hotel. Instead, the name is preferable to indicate something related to the dominant characteristics of the business expressing its identity and can be successfully connected with the search engines.
It is also advisable to have a relevant music theme or the option to enable the visitor to choose from a list of music themes, while listening to radio stations. For the content of the above mentioned magazine, which should of course be refreshed/enriched at a reasonable frequency, we can suggest topics related to the surrounding countryside, sights, local architecture, local cuisine, and the various events that it organizes or participates in. Also, topics focusing on its charitable role and volunteering team work activities are highly recommendable. This material can be displayed using photos (individually or in albums), videos and other online tools. Finally, it is advisable to not include any links that refer to the information that the visitor might need and already exists on other websites. This is generally the process of developing and supporting an e-magazine, which by its nature has forced us to use special – and perhaps tedious – descriptions.
The second communication solution, always in the light of low budget and maximum performance, is the organization of conference venues with the hotel business as the main organizer. Assuming, of course, that the hotel has the appropriate venues, namely a conference center and a lounge that can serve as a showroom hosting venue, this event is feasible and effective at communicative level with proper preparation. First of all, time and topic should be chosen possibly in relation to each other (e.g. season-related). The subject must be well-selected with criteria, for example broader timeliness or – where appropriate – locality, and broad acceptance. It is also necessary to arrange anything needed for rapporteurs and guests in a timely manner. Next, it is important to explore the interest of sponsors that wish to promote their businesses through the event. If possible and relevant, prizes may be awarded during the event to individuals or groups for their action related to the theme.
When the event is fully scheduled, it is up to the print and electronic media to ensure that the event is crowd-sourced. There is no need to elaborate on other organizational details, as they are often determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on specific circumstances and conditions. Reliability and excellence organization are key factors in order to make sure that the venture will be successful. Therefore, the hotel or business group has the opportunity to significantly enhance its corporate profile by actively intervening in social events and communicating its corporate philosophy.
We have chosen to present the above two solutions based on the originality that characterizes them. I think that the analysis was sufficient to fully understand the actions of those concerned. A short approach to the topic of “Communication and Marketing Techniques” will follow.