It’s all about Communicating

Aren’t you getting confused by the mass of information being thrown at you? About what information you should give to your guests and how this all fits in with your product, your marketing and business plans and how you operate?

Well I am. And I am meant to be a professional in the communications game. Right now I am involved at looking at a specific app for which there is potentially a huge demand from the motoring public. But what do they really want it and will they use it?

On the one hand my techo guests keep telling me I must improve my business Facebook page and on the other I read articles such as “Uncool if it’s like everyone belongs – social media leader Facebook is finding millions of “its friends” are deserting it ”( Weekend Australia Inquirer July 2-3).

It is critical that we get our product’s image right for our target audience. If you are like us then it is a pretty broad target – there’s the tradie who stayed on Sunday night and booked online because we are an accredited five-star B&B; the student with a few extra dollars and the eighty eight year old with a smart phone. There’s our butcher and his wife who need to get away regularly, the semi retired Swiss couple, multi lingual and computer savvy.

Every day I am besieged by emails, many with fancy borders and pictures that take just that too long to download when I am in a hurry; the web site that just isn’t user friendly enough – the five clicks that I need to navigate in order to fill my cart are too much of a hassle; the app that really does not fulfill my exact needs; and the constant babble on Facebook from members of the family.

I have the Rogers tribe of techos, young and old turning up next week, so perhaps I can sort my thoughts out with some of them. Do they really have that much time to sift through all this information? I still suspect ‘yes’, as when I kept receiving text messages and radio calls while navigating the Thredbo ski slopes and enjoying the relative peace and quiet of the mountains.

So back to basics. A lovely card from a guest the other day included the following: “Over the years I told my staff many times: Businesses can often offer the same products, the same prices – offer yourself, your service, your warmth and your caring”. Apparently we do that at The Eyrie, but does this come across in our communications outside the walls of our accommodation?

Do we bombard our guests with newsletters? Tell them they should write about us on Tripadvisor (because most of our guests would not); keep writing on our Facebook page and Twitter away when there is little of real interest for the reader. Our answer is no. What we should do is to work out carefully what our regular and potential guests might really want to hear and be informed about. This needs to be written down in the business and marketing plan.

• Events in the area of interest (and whether space is available) – in our case Splendour in the Grass (and what transport services are available); Sunshine Coast Walks Festival and Real Food Festival.
• Interesting incidents that have happened such as the unusual kangaroo that our guests photographed, the eagles out soaring or the goanna who keeps pinching the bird food.
• Engagements that took place (with of course the guests permission).
• New photographs or changes in our product.

Then we need to ensure that we have the message in our brand that reflects our “warmth” and “caring”, our positioning – nature is a critical component in our tag line; and we need the mediums appropriate to put this across to our target audience. What we don’t want is what a friend and colleague received about the treatment he/she received during the flood. At the time I wrote about this. Since I was unaware of the accommodation in question I was unable to follow this through. I now know the real situation, so profuse apologies George.

Somehow however hard we try to communicate our thoughts sometimes these just do not come across. But we still must keep trying.

Peter Rogers
Eyrie Escape

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