Parker PR

How's this for a tale of two countries and how not to win friends and influence people.

Earlier this year I went on holiday to Tunisia for a week's break in early summer sunshine. This was my first time in Africa and I did not know what to expect but I was looking forward to the break. The hotel was fine and the people in general quite friendly. The overt pushy sales technique of the shopkeepers I had anticipated. On the whole I learnt to put up with it so it did not spoil the holiday. However, on a trip to Monastir, a nice place in its own right, everything turned a tad sour.

Nearly 40 business representatives from South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire gathered at Field Mill, home of Mansfield Town Football Club, this week to gain invaluable advice from two of Britain's leading business gurus ate the first Business Booster event.

Finance specialist Steve Pipe and expert on networking & relationship marketing Rob Brown spent the day advising businesses on how to beat the recession. All delegate fees were paid direct to Macmillan Cancer Care as part of a campaign by Graham Parker of PR consultancy Parker PR to raise £68,000 for the charity.

Although this statement may be the antithesis of every marketing directors' ambition, it is, nonetheless, absolutely true; there's no point whatsoever in being on the first page of Google. In fact, there's no point being top of the list on the front page of Google either.                             .google

Any discussion with a web designer or search engine optimisation specialist will ultimately revolve around getting your website on to the first page of Google. I recently had a conversation with a web designer who said that their whole marketing strategy was built around getting clients on the first page of Google. When I asked him why this was, he told me simply that his strategy was based on responding to customer demand. Can this be true? Do millions of businesses and organisations spend fortunes on websites just so they can be on the first page of Google or any other search engine for that matter?

No they don't - or at least, they shouldn't be.

No sector has been safe from the ravages of the recession in the UK, and hotels & hospitality is no different from any other. Phil Hooper, chairman of the British Hospitality Association’s Food and Service Management Forum said in March this year that the last 12 months had been tough for companies in the sector but, despite the recession, turnover had moved ahead by 0.7 per cent.

Set in context against slumps in overall sales, unemployment and rising costs in overheads, this should be seen as positive; and yet so many hotels are losing out on increased profits and repeat sales due to poor public relations.