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Hurricane Sandy’s devastating effects are being revealed daily, while the long-lasting repercussions of the storm will exist for years to come.

As a PR travel professional I am reviewing and revising my PR plans for the immediate future and into the New Year. Why? Many of my clients are dependent on the mid-Atlantic coast to supply travelers to their destinations. Since much of the mid-Atlantic coast was hit by the hurricane, many will be spending their discretionary savings on home repairs and other essentials, which leads me to believe that travel plans will be negated.

Now what?

PR and social media are immediate marketing tools that destinations, resorts, and attractions can utilize to reach alternative target markets. In example, news releases can be targeted to international travelers or pitched within the US to mid-west travelers or travelers in the southeast. This is a great time to showcase your destination’s and/or property’s unique amenities. Do keep in mind when creating packages that they need to be relevant so do your homework: make it newsworthy and enticing. Social media is another great way to target new guests. You can immediately generate a Facebook promotion utilizing a discount. It could be a resort credit, savings on spa treatment or a buy-one- get-one free deal. Of course, you will want to utilize some type of Facebook advertising to support the promotion and reach into these new target markets to help spread the word. Pinterest is another powerful avenue to explore and of course Twitter is timely as you can immediately start to target journalist and influencers to tweet and build followers.

Low costs, and immediacy are just a few reasons why these mediums are powerful marketing tools. Let me know what you’ve tried and how it worked. Or if you have any questions I’m happy to assist.

Hurricane Sandy will most likely be the storm of the century, but with any natural disaster the power of travel will prevail. To all that were in the path of Hurricane Sandy my thoughts are with you.