Hospitality industry specialist Hotel PR is celebrating after completing its second decade with a pledge to help boost the sector’s pandemic recovery.
In England hotels can re-open no earlier than 17 May. In Scotland hospitality will be part of a ‘phased but significant reopening of the economy’ from 26 April. Plans for other parts of the UK are unclear.
Scott Thornton, who set up Hotel PR in February 2001, commented: “It’s a major achievement for any PR company to be still going strong after 20 years, even after the hard knocks of the past year. Hospitality throughout the UK is reeling from lockdown after lockdown but is now eagerly anticipating the upturn. As we’ve been intimately involved with the sector for so long we’ve felt the pain more than most.”
He said UK hotels would face strong competition from foreign destinations in the second half of the year and there would be a flood of domestic accommodation fighting for business to make up for lost revenue.
Glasgow-based Hotel PR has represented hotels, guest houses and luxury serviced apartments from Orkney to the Cotswolds, including London.
Scott, a former foreign correspondent and senior manager with Reuters, added: “Having stayed at so many hotels around the world I saw a need for a UK public relations company which dealt exclusively with hospitality. Most PR firms take on clients from any sector but the ‘one size fits all’ approach tends not to work so well. We’ve always been totally focused on accommodation and restaurants.”
He and his wife Julia, a former project manager in a major London city centre hospital, believe personal relationships, mutual trust and in-depth knowledge of clients and the industry have been essential in their continuing success.
“We need to clearly understand each client’s situation, aims and objectives” Julia said. “That means studying them in detail. Only then can we do a proper job. By definition PR is high profile and can be counter-productive in inexperienced hands.”