When it comes to travel PR, I reckon that no type of client is tougher to promote than self-catering companies. And particularly UK-focused ones; those clients selling villas or apartments abroad may at least be liable to debut an exotic, unheard-of Greek island or Spanish province every so often.
But when it comes to Britain, most areas are known and – sensibly – cottage firms and the like mostly stick to the same, safe-bet regions: Cornwall, Norfolk, the Lake District and so forth. The homes themselves rarely have the happy attribute of newness, while editors are permanently reluctant to commission features about or reviews of a self-catering home: firstly, that sounds rather dull, and, second, much less availability awaits interested readers than at a hotel.
So what to do? There are a few possible tacks. You’re much likelier to score a feature about the wider area than a specific cottage, so delve into that: is there a forthcoming film being shot there, or a significant 50th or 100th anniversary coming up? Or do any of your clients’ homes have an amazing, little-told backstory (Sarah Hartley likes those)?
You might ask your client for some recent or forward-booking stats, and see if anything surprising is occurring. Perhaps Devon is outperforming Cornwall for the first time in two decades; maybe people are suddenly keener on the Western Lakes?
If there’s a home your client is especially keen to promote, or one supported by great images – this being another key concern – then see if it has any unusual and alluring attributes (e.g. direct beach access; Arts & Crafts interiors in line with the current trend) and pitch me a round-up of ten homes along that same theme, suggesting yours as the first. I wouldn’t expect you to find me the other nine.
Lastly, Valentine’s Day isn’t too far off, and media round-up requests are likely to ensue. But every PR will claim their cottage (or hotel, for that matter) is romantic and cosy. Try to go further; could one of your client’s properties be prone to views of incredible sunsets (ideally from its hot tub!) – and you’ve got the photos to prove it – or have 15 successful proposals been made there in the past five years? Specific facts like that will mean you stand out from the cottage crowd.