If like me, you have no life and use all your free time to follow timeshare "news" on the Internet, you will have undoubtedly seen that what passes for timeshare news falls into three segments:
1) Really awful news about timeshare related scams
2) Timeshares listed for sale
3) Reports about the financial health and well-being of various timeshare organizations
4) Announcements of one sort or another that derive solely from PR efforts
I'd like to talk a bit about that last segment..."stories" that derive solely from PR efforts.
I'm not against PR...I think it is a valuable component of any organization's marketing efforts. But when you're talking about an industry as large and as misunderstood as timeshare, I feel the efforts could be used for a greater good.
Here's what we see each week:
So and so has been promoted to Assistant Mucky Muck
ACME Company will now be a Super Gold sponsor of the next timeshare conference
Mr. Big Shot (who has been associated with more timeshare organizations than anyone can keep track of) has been hired by Super Duper Company and will be in charge of some mysterious project that no one can really explain
The said mentioned Mr. Big Shot will be a featured speaker at the next really big timeshare conference (a conference by the way, that is either not open to consumers, timeshare owners or not, or cost prohibitive to attend)
Really Large Company has been voted a great place to work at according to some study
All of these stories can be considered newsworthy. But the problem is that NONE of them focus on the consumer. And the consumer is the only one that matters.
If consumers don't buy timeshare, ACME Company won't be around. If consumers continue to feed the media with the mostly true stories about being ripped off, Mr. Big Shot will be fired from his current position---probably to be hired by yet another company focused on the "old boys network"; a conversation for a different time though.
Yet, when there is a really positive story about timeshare just waiting to be told, say perhaps the first annual International Timeshare Appreciation Day or a meeting of timeshare owners where there will be some real education gained, the same PR pros who put out these other stories mysteriously take no part.
I have lots of thoughts as to why this happens, but I'm more interested in hearing from you. And what can be done about it?