|Written By: Don James
Dyment-Stubley Printers Ltd.
|Originally Published in the July 1988
issue of The Outfitter Magazine.
Are you thinking of re-printing your old brochure or rate folder again? Are you going to leave it just the same as it has been for the last two or three years, or even the last four or five years? Does it convey to your prospective guests the feeling, the mood or the atmosphere your property offers? Are you happy with it? What does your staff think of it? And what about asking some of your present guests about the impact it had in helping them to decide to come and spend a few days at your property for some well overdue R & R?
I think by now you have an idea of what I’m getting at. For many years now, I have seen resorts growing, renovating, modernizing or otherwise expanding to meet the needs of today’s markets, be it tourist or convention. Hefty budgets are allocated to these areas since they are of significant priority. From the outside aesthetics of building design, down to the selection of silverware in a totally re-designed dining room, there has been an absolutely flawless attentiveness to detail which has been painstakingly carried through to completion.
Ah - yes, quick now, pick up the telephone and order another batch of colour brochures… “That’s right, I need them today so that I can promote the coming year.”
Now this may be an exaggeration or, at least, a slight exaggeration. But something like it often happens. Perhaps some of the following suggestions may help if you are facing some renovations, expansions or redecorating. Make your first priority, when the work is completed, to have a qualified photographer come to your resort and create several new photographs. Use attractive models in all new photographs as well as having all of the room décor properly layed out so as to best show your new facilities. A photographer who is experienced with this type of work will have no difficulty in handling the assignment. Build your library of photographs continually and while the photographer is there, why not have him walk around the property with camera in hand to pick up a few more current shots, either candid or posed. You will be pleasantly surprised with the results. Many times the question has come up in the middle of winter when the resort is closed, “I wonder what I can do about getting some new outdoor shots?”
Now, with photographs in hand, both interior and exterior, you can make that phone call. Whoever you deal with - your regular printing firm which offers creative services, an agency, a design consultant or a friend of a friend- they will probably approach the project with vigor seeing that they are dealing with someone who has planned for the new printed piece(s). Writing some new copy wouldn’t be such a bad idea either.
But don’t be in too much of a rush. It takes time to be creative. After all, you need a few hours to stare into space, consume copious amounts of coffee - either Spanish or Irish, of course - and to generally allow yourself to fall into a state of total disregard for everything except that creative project which you have in front of you. All joking aside, allow reasonable time for the creative content of the job. It is certainly one of the most important steps and will be worth the time and money spent on it. Remember how much you spent on the design plans for your recent expansion? Relative to the entire production cost of your new printed piece, creative costs will probably be in the area of 5% or less. It’s a good value and an integral part of the overall plan to promote your facilities and services in a professional and attractive manner.
Once these new pieces are printed, your property will take on a fresh new appeal to you, to your prospective guests, as well as to your repeat guests.
In order to maintain your place in the market you must continually modernize, update and promote your facilities and services. Put your best foot forward. Allow for some creative work to be incorporated into your new printed piece. It will pay dividends a lot quicker than the TSE and the risk is virtually non-existent. There are sources within your allied division for these services, all of whom are capable of providing excellent quality work.