Why Hotels Have to Produce Content

A former colleague from the world of journalism recently forwarded me a link to this story about hospitals in the United States that are producing content, including print, video and blogs. Most businesses produce content, and most of this falls under the guise of marketing. But what the Cleveland Clinic and others are doing in the States is something else entirely, and a nascent opportunity for hotels and resorts.

Where in a previous age these hospitals produced content for patients, they are now producing it for media. Why? “Because shrinking newsrooms and television and radio stations are hungry for content,” according to this report.

Indeed, the Cleveland Clinic, which ranks as one of the most prestigious healthcare institutions in America, has established the Cleveland Clinic News Service to make this content available for free or at a small fee.

“It accomplishes what they (media) are doing and helps us maintain the coverage we would like to continue,” said a spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic.

If hospitals are producing content (let’s not call it journalism, at the moment), and the media are taking this content, then a very interesting line has been crossed. Further, if the media are receptive to content produced by the hospitals, which deal with issues that really require a journalist’s touch, then hotels and resorts have long had a license to produce content the media would take to.

We see this all the time now. We pitch stories involving clients with ideas that are partly developed but increasingly as ideas that are fully developed as camera-ready material.

Or we’ll hear from media who need content. Yesterday, a colleague within Balcony sent me this email, referencing a media outlet we’re trying to land for a restaurant client:

“The magazine is willing to give a full-page review but needs about 700 words of text. I’ve got a couple things going on for the (client) this week, but the editor says this is urgent.”

We can barely keep pace with the demand. We at Balcony all thought we’d left journalism for PR some time ago, but more and more every day, we’re finding that the skill-set we sharpened as journalists is all the more necessary in the world of PR.

Jim Sullivan Managing Director
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