Thanks for your help with the discussion on whether or not cities should hire PR companies to increase tourism, or revenue coming into the city.
So far, the response has been positive to doing this and I would have to agree with you all. PR can be a very effective route to increase tourism in cities. In fact, I would bet that many cities have this in place without the knowledge of the general public.
How should PR plans differ for cities than for businesses?
If the PR plan is for the city itself to increase revenue, I would definitely include a plan to increase home sales within the city because the city benefits greatly from taxes generated from home owners. In addition, a component of drawing new business should also be considered.
How do you draw home owners? Simply stated: amenities. This is why apartment complexes have pools and gyms. And although there are many factors to consider when drawing home owners to an area, including location to larger cities, large employers, schools, recreational activity and family-friendly areas and programs, many moves can be made to increase these options toward the common goal of growing a town.
In the case of my town, it is a group of merchants that have hired the PR, versus the city, and the goal is to increase visitors and spending. Two merchants have started a blog that tackles what they see as the main deterrent to visiting the city in the off-season: the weather. They report “what the weather really is” from their stores. It’s great to see this effort and they did send out press releases about the blog. Unfortunately, the site does not yet appear in Google searches for the city name and the city’s name, plus the word “weather” so hopefully they will make the moves to make that happen soon.
Please feel free to comment and tell me how you think a City’s PR plan should differ from a business PR plan.