Last week, I mentioned the trend towards companies using public relations firms to get product stories placed for free in various media outlets as opposed to buying the advertising that keeps those media outlets in business.
In other words, a third party has entered into the mix with the idea of profiting from the efforts of another, in this case promising free publicity that has the potential to deteriorate the bottom line of the very media outlet that is expected to print the free stories.
As I’ve mentioned, PR companies are useful, but where do we draw the line on how much impact they have if this trend is cutting into the financial support that the media needs? I also wonder if it’s much the same story with golf operators serving up some of their tee times to third party Internet reservations.
It’s a trend that the industry needs to keep an eye on because, thanks to technology, we haven’t gone down this road before, so an industry discussion on this topic might benefit everybody.
As a result, let’s open it up to concerns from those looking at using this method and the experience of those who have used or are using third party reservations.
There are several questions we can touch on:
Are third party Internet reservations a case of one business trying to make a profit off another with not enough return for the golf course operator?
Do they have an impact on the market?
Is it just another form of discounting?
What message does it send to the golfer about the value of a round at your golf course?
Can you lose price control?
Should the golf course be able to set the lowest price a reservation can go for?
Would a golf course be better served to make efforts to drive traffic to its own website instead of to another company?
Should reservations sold by a third party be done so on a commission basis?
Those are just a few of the questions to touch upon in this discussion, but feel free to add more.
We’ve started the discussion in the new GNN Poll, so feel free to start there by answering this question:
Do you use or would you consider using a third party Internet tee time distributor/program?
Add in your comments on the subject in the comments section below. Your experiences may be of great help to those who have questions on the matter.