Villa Problemo: suggestions for PRing rental properties
I reckon that the trickiest thing for travel PRs to promote — narrowly edging out Maldivian hotels — is a rental home or firm. Whether overseas or in the UK, that includes villas, cottages and apartments, plus glamping units (from bell tents to cabins) because of how ten-a-penny they’ve become.
Even when new, such properties rarely excite editors. There’s the issue of less availability (so, less useful for the reader) compared to hotels, pictures are often less sexy and the competition is much fiercer — it’s far harder for a villa to be the undisputed best place to stay in a destination, than it is a hotel.
So far, so negative. I wanted, however, to suggest some approaches that do work:
- As with hard-to-promote hotels, can you find a good newsy angle in the local area instead? Ideally something which ties in well with the property so that it makes sense for it to be mentioned in the feature’s copy.
- Are any of its desirable USPs relatively rare? An indoor/outdoor bathroom, say, or a natural pool? If so, you could suggest an image-led round-up of 10 properties with that element – an even better proposition if you can moot it as a hot trend courtesy of a design magazine or website.
- Is there any interesting history, or a great back story?
- Are there any villa or self-catering trends (e.g. multi-generational stays was one a few years ago) that you can tie onto? If so, maybe suggest to an editor they send a writer to experience and cover said trend, with your property or client the perfect fit.
- For rental firms, are there any interesting statistics or trends? Maybe Devon is outperforming Cornwall for the first time since 1291, or perhaps absolutely no-one is booking short breaks now.
- With value on everyone’s mind, perhaps the local owner could arrange a series of discounts at wholesome local venues (independent restaurants, museums, bakeries, etc) for renters. That would be a fun twist on the local expertise that everyone craves now.
Perhaps these ideas will spark some others, if not work themselves. The challenge, as ever, is to make your selected home (or the surrounding area) really stand out as worthy of coverage right now.
What Richard Thinks…