Five quick looks at leveraging collaborations
Hotel partnerships come in all shapes, sizes and purposes. Properly administered and effectively promoted, the rewards for both sides can be extensive. Hawkins International PR and Maverick Creative take partnerships seriously, recognizing that good ones go beyond mere mutually beneficial relationships to build and strengthen brand pillars and positively impact perceptions, identities and bottom lines.
Getting the word out about partnerships is the best way to draw clients to experience them, of course. Here’s look at five ongoing partnerships in the hospitality sphere and how our PR and Digital Media teams are leveraging them on behalf of clients:
- Food & Beverage – A partnership between a new independent luxury boutique hotel and an international dining brand will bring benefits to both as well as to the city around them. The dining brand will have two outlets at the hotel: A public restaurant on the ground floor and a private bar and lounge on the rooftop where hotel guests and members can gather under the stars and look out over the city, with views including a historic public square. The partnership will offer the international dining brand its first opportunity to do business in the region, expanding its US operations, drawing new devotees, and generating desirable publicity in a city known as a culinary hotspot. The Hawkins International team will leverage the partnership with a food and beverage-focused media strategy that showcases the restaurant and the rooftop bar and lounge, in collaboration with the international dining brand in local and national media, taking care to be selective of journalists and using the opportunity to invite them to special experiences such as VIP tastings, cooking demonstrations, and one-on-ones with the chef. With many of the media contacts based regionally and operating under restrictive editorial policies, their ability to travel and experience the restaurant personally will vary. Either way, the outreach will put the hotel, its restaurant and rooftop spot, and the international dining brand on the media’s radar while establishing relationships that are sure to be fruitful.
- Community – The brand-wide Hyatt Loves Local campaign didn’t just leverage a Hyatt collaboration. It leveraged dozens – 160 all together – inviting properties within Hyatt’s Lifestyle and Luxury division around the world to collaborate with local businesses that were being pinched – actually, punched – by the pandemic. The only ‘ask’ for the hotels was to provide complimentary resources and/or exposure to the businesses, while in return offering cool experiences for their guests to enjoy that weren’t available anywhere else. Every player benefitted: Collaborating businesses stayed afloat and even expanded during a dire time for the global economy, while hotels spread good will and spurred economic uplift locally and were applauded for their efforts by guests, with a survey revealing that loyal World of Hyatt members liked supporting properties that gave back to their local communities. Along with developing a PR and social media campaign for its marquee client, Hyatt Loves Local saw Maverick Creative working media connections to leverage the campaign at a time when the travel industry needed all the publicity it could get. Scores included feature pieces in Robb Report and on Thrillist, and image placements of collaborations on Instagram and other social media channels. Maverick Creative further tapped Influencers to generate buzz for the campaign, coordinating media takeovers with lifestyle publications and leveraging Influencer marketing to bring smaller stories from the campaign’s many collaborators to life through first-person experiential narratives on Instagram Stories.
- Technology – Beyond its mission to transform sleep through technology, Bryte, the Los Altos, California-based creator of the AI-powered Restorative Bed™, has partnered with luxury hotels across the country to personalize their onsite sleep experience and scale wellness to every guest room. The team at Hawkins International has leveraged those partnerships by establishing the trend of luxury hotels investing in restorative sleep for the benefit of their guests while enhancing onsite wellness with sleep programming all around. The team’s outreach to media put Bryte in the spotlight as a trend setter in a wellness arena that has been on the minds of people everywhere throughout the pandemic, while offering partner hotels positive exposure for working to enhance the most common and significant aspect of the hotel experience: a good night’s sleep. Media have been interested in the AI-powered technology behind the Restorative Bed™, as well as in the partnership because, quite simply, it creates a new experience for luxury travelers. Indeed, as Courtney Schuermann, Account Director at Hawkins International, explains: “From the media side, telling the story of Bryte’s partnerships is very different from promoting the latest creative activation from a hotel. It’s something that writers and editors can really sink their teeth into.”
- Wellness – From its spot on the shimmering shores of Miami Beach, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort has partnered with technology entrepreneurs from around the world to launch a Touchless Wellness division within its 70,000 square-foot spa. The partnerships, and there were several, addressed an immediate need during the pandemic, when guests and residents longed to return to their regular health-and-fitness regimens, but the spa was on lockdown due to directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Led by Tammy Pahel, VP of Spa & Wellness Operations, Carillon acquired a number of touchless wellness technologies and made them available to the Resort’s clientele both individually and as part of an innovative ‘Muscle Recovery Circuit’ designed to soothe various aches throughout the body. Clients, including four teammates from the Miami Heat, returned to Carillon to use the Muscle Recovery Circuit again and again. Meanwhile, the team at Hawkins International worked to leverage the partnerships by promoting the story of the new Touchless Wellness division and how its technologies and the entrepreneurs behind them addressed specific health concerns. The partnerships framed Carillon as an innovator with something new to fill a need for Resort clientele, while also boosting revenues for the Resort, introducing new technology brands to the larger US spa industry, and increasing awareness of those same technologies by offering opportunities for other wellness-related businesses to stop by, sample and even purchase the touchless technologies onsite.
- Influencer – For hoteliers, strong relationships are often partnerships in their own right. The Tryall Club is one of Jamaica’s crown jewels of luxury hospitality, with a vast portfolio of private villas, each with personalized comforts and services including dedicated chef and staff. Through influencer partnerships with strategies that were mutually beneficial, Tryall Club worked with content creators across their blogs, YouTube, and Instagram channels to bring their travel experiences to life in ways that feel relatable, and tasked them to document their voyages, start to finish, to increase awareness of the Club and its exclusive, private travel experience. Each creator captured content through inspiring, first-person narratives across social media that performed well for each of the content partners and also highlighted PR messaging points that were focus points in the upcoming season.