Choice Hotels

Project Overview

Representing the nation’s first hotel chain, content will reaffirm Choice Hotels International™ as an innovative leader in the hospitality industry. Whether it’s articles on attractions in a particular U.S. town, state or region, or lifestyle content on how to pack efficiently for a vacation or business trip, content will organically drive readers to Choice-branded properties, which include Ascend, Cambria, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econolodge and Roadway Inn, reemphasizing Choice Hotels as the right choice.

Content Objectives:

  • Increase organic search
  • Differentiate Choice from competitors
  • Increase awareness of the Choice family of brands and customer preference
  • Make emotional connection with customer
  • Increased conversion rate/return on investment

Brand Manifesto and Mission

Choice Hotels International™ (NYSE: CHH), one of the largest and most successful lodging companies in the world, franchises more than 6300 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms in over 35 countries and territories.

We bring together the people, brand and technology that enable the success of others ­– welcoming every guest, every partner, everywhere their journey takes them.”

Who Your Readers are:

  • Both business (midweek) and leisure/vacation travelers.
  • 25 to 55+ years old.
  • Anyone looking for travel tips and those who want to explore a city.
  • Traveling to visit someone/something or for an event or job. Choice Hotels: the “Go to see your people, people.
  • Focused on visiting people: Choice connects people by offering the right hotel at the right place, with the right rewards.
  • Price-conscious and deliberate when spending money.
  • Tech-savvy and interested in practical mobile apps.

Who Your Readers are not:

  • Luxury travelers (i.e., St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, Conrad hotels) and those who identify with luxury brands like Mercedes Benz, Rolex, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Moet.

What the Choice Hotels Brand Voice is:

The ideal voice/tone for this project is a friendly travel guide telling readers about why a city and its attractions are a must-visit. What’s in it for them? When writing, think of the voice on fun Travel Channel shows geared towards families or how host Samantha Brown speaks to her audience. Talk to the traveler and be descriptive!

  • Expert/Credible: Content gives expert travel advice that leads travelers to booking.
  • Friendly/Positive: Tone of the content is upbeat and conversational.
  • Personable: Content informs the reader in a fun and casual way, making use of occasional, appropriate humor. It helps foster an emotional draw to the brand.
  • Useful: Content provides useful information and tips in a simple, straightforward, on-title message.
    • Ex. The natural spring water averages a warm 68° F. It's a popular spot that is often filled to capacity in the summer, so go early.
  • Trustworthy: Provides useful, current information that helps direct readers to the conclusion that Choice Hotels are the experts on a city and how explore it with their family or friends. The content is not pretentious.
    • Ex. Then head for Jurassic Ridge, a 540-square-foot excavation site where the whole family can dig for buried fossils.
  • Unique: Content should not suggest the obvious. Think out of the box, yet evergreen.
  • Actionable: Content should encourage people to do things together. Use travel-related verbs/phrases like explore, get lost in, ride, check out, etc.
    • Ex. Enter SeaWorld's Aquatica Park as if you were walking into a foreign country.

 

What Choice Hotels Brand Voice is not:

  • Dramatic: Content should be genuine in tone.
  • Scholarly: Writing should be simple and avoid language that would confuse readers.
  • Overly Sophisticated/Complex: Content should be direct and plainspoken for clarity that holds the reader’s attention. Content should be enjoyable to read.
  • Time Sensitive: Avoid statements or referencing awards that could date content.
    • Ex. “Though sometimes referred to as a theme park, this 60-year-old attraction...”

Rewritten in Choice brand voice: “built in 1955, ….”

  • Ex. Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate a population of just over 255,000 as of 2013.

Rewritten in Choice brand voice: “More than 255,000 people call the city home.”

 

** Brand voice examples allow the content to live on ChoiceHotels.com indefinitely. **

 

Additional Requirements:

  • Don’t say “visitors.” Assume the reader is the visitor. Include them via phrasing in second person.
  • Content should be written in AP style with the exception of em dashes. There should be no space before or after an em dash.
    • Ex.: Samplers can easily be shared—single flights offer four 5-ounce beers and double flights have eight.
  • All attractions, restaurants, etc., MUST be spell checked and fact checked.
  • Do not make any reference to another hotel/motel brand or resort owned by a company such as Disney, Hyatt, Carnival Cruises etc.
  • Avoid references to sites like Trip Advisor.
  • KNOW BEFORE YOU GO title: Write creative subheads for the sections when applicable.            
    • For example, rather than just saying “Industry in New Orleans,” I liked that the writer used: Big Business in the Big Easy.
  • Italicize all magazine titles when using them as a reference in copy.

 

Writing Style:

  • Include imagery and fun details about a location/attraction. Readers should be able to close their eyes and imagine the location.
    • Ex. A wide, palm-lined promenade runs along the beachfront, and the sunsets turn the sky—night after night—into a melting pot of fire.
    • Ex. Try Silver Springs, 90 miles north of Orlando, with its crystal-clear spring water and jungle-like trees and vegetation.
  • Content should be approachable and fun (when applicable).
    • Ex. Get ready to enter a brave new world of splash. Think barreling down a staggeringly steep water slide toboggan-style, neck and neck with seven friends. Think river rides that take you through swirling waters and past Old Faithful-style geysers. Orlando's temperatures soar in summer, and hitting the water parks—with or without the kids—is the "it" way to cool off.
  • Articles should not read like a Wikipedia page.

 

Brand Voice Examples: 

1.) Fort Christmas Historical Park is a full-size replica of the original Fort Christmas, founded December 25, 1837.

Rewritten in Choice brand voice: Explore pioneer life and history at Fort Christmas Historical Park, a full-size replica of the original Fort Christmas that’s so soaked in history, it dates back to Dec. 25, 1837.

2.) Billed as the world's first water park, Wet 'n Wild Orlando opened its doors in 1977

Rewritten in Choice brand voice: The first-ever water park—Wet ‘n Wild—has been keeping water-loving thrill seekers cool since 1977.

3.) Blizzard Beach springs from a Disney legend of a freak snowstorm in Florida that caused some developers to create a ski resort, but the snow quickly melted, leaving ski jumps and lifts—but no snow.

Rewritten in Choice brand voice: According to ancient Disney lore, a freak snow storm in Florida once caused some developers to want to cash in on a ski resort. But the snow quickly melted, creating amazing ski jumps and lifts just as fun as a toboggan ride down a slippery hill in the winter.

4.) Lake Eola Park is in the center of Orlando and it's another free, open, green space. Follow the pathway around the lake to get some exercise—it's just under a mile.

Rewritten in Choice brand voice: Get lost in the lush open green space of Lake Eola Park, or use your vacation to start that exercise plan you’ve been putting off. This free attraction offers a pathway that’s just under a mile, so even those with limited work out skills can get in on the fun.

5.) Lakes fed by fresh springs near Orlando offer clear water for swimming and water-sports. Try Blue Spring State Park, some 35 miles from Orlando. During the summer months, you can swim, kayak, scuba dive and snorkel in the warm, clear waters.

Rewritten in Choice brand voice: Heart-jolting water sports and creative swimming endeavors await at fresh springs near Orlando. During the summer months warm, clear waters invite swimming and kayaking for outdoor beginners, and even scuba diving and snorkeling for the more adventuresome.

Where the Content Will Live:

 

Content Format Descriptions

Text 

  • Articles: Actionable step-by-step instructions (How to) to complete a task or list-based that provides the most essential information, either in synopsis, thematic or paragraph form; 300-500 words max; original research; no direct quotes required.
  • Listicles: Thematic or how-to with text and photography in 6–8 sections; 125 words per section max; one illustration/image per listicle section.

Visual

  • Decision Trees: Quiz-like flowchart that explores a topic with various pathways of choices; total of 7–10 yes/no questions; 3-4 outcomes; original text with simple design styling and visually appealing layout.
  • Checklist: Visually interesting, thematic list of items needed or things to be done; 1–2 sections of original text with simple design styling and layout.
  • Infographics: Data-driven visual piece with custom design on a specific topic; simple graphics and data research; 3–4 sections; concise copy; PNG or JPG format.
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