Above all, travel and tourism employers should recognize that PR by itself is not an immediate panacea for solving all of your image problems. It has a much better chance of succeeding if you give it time to build solid long-term relationships with your firm’s key audiences.
You can help your practitioners be successful by insuring that they are constantly “kept in the loop”—keep them fully apprised of company developments and grant them direct access to your top executives. Lastly, always remember that no amount of PR can overcome a flawed or unsafe product or service. As the old adage goes: “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!” If you try to use PR to cover up serious deficiencies, your efforts are doomed to fail, because PR becomes impotent once it loses its credibility
The question of PR’s value basically comes down to significant intangibles. For example, the noted University of Maryland professor and author James E. Grunig says in his book Excellence in Public Relations and Communications Management: “The major purpose of PR is to save money for the organization by building relations with publics that constrain or enhance the ability of the organization to meet its mission.
Depending on your circumstances, you may want to hire an outside firm or consultant to perform all of your PR functions full time, to handle a major, one-time project such as a grand opening, or to provide specialized services that exceed the expertise or capability of your in-house practitioner. Some of the most common specialized services sought by businesses include executive media training, crisis communications, financial/investor relations.
Once you have identified a number of potential PR firms that could help, you are ready to engage in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. This is where you put out a call for written details on how these firms would address your challenge and what their costs would be.