NewDog PR was founded by hotel sector enthusiasts Katherine Doggrell and Emily Newman. It will operate in the UK and France.
The pair said there is a need for “clear, gripping PR in a market rapidly moving into the mainstream for investors”.
The group launches with six foundation clients: PnK People, Watson Farley & Williams, Magnuson Hotels, author Daniel Fryer, and Resources for Leisure Assets.
Newman told PRWeek that despite most of the hotels sector being shut due to the coronavirus lockdown, there are several reasons why it is a good time to launch a PR business focused on the sector.
“On the face of it, it seems mad to be launching something now when all the hotels are shut, but actually there is a lot of work out there,” Newman said.
“Because hotels have shifted into being a mainstream asset class, investors are taking a longer-term view. They're aware that there is a significant pent-up demand for travel for when the restrictions are lifted. Fundamentally, they remain a really worthwhile asset class with strong returns, and a good element to include in a portfolio.”
There is also likely to be increased M&A activity in Q2 as investors eye distressed hotels at good prices. Newman says there is a “wall of money” actively looking at the sector.
NewDog will specialise serving businesses across what Newman describes as the "hotel stack". This includes owners, operators, investors, architects and the broad range of suppliers to the sector, including tech firms and professional services (see launch video below).
Newman, a communications specialist, set up NewDog after more than a decade running her own consultancy, DeLys Marketing, and working in marketing at CBRE Hotels earlier in her career.
NewDog is co-founder Doggrell's first foray into PR. She most recently served as EMEA editor-in-chief at Questex Hospitality Group, and has written for the Financial Times, The Guardian, Q, Mojo and Business 2.0, and is the author of 'Checking Out: What the Rise of the Sharing Economy Means for the Future of the Hotel Industry'.
“The hotel sector is becoming an essential part of every portfolio and the pandemic has seen innovation flourish. Hotels used to wow guests with the latest technology and remarkable service, and that spirit is with us again,” she said.
“It’s a thrill to be able to tell the stories of some of the companies driving change in a market which is proving its worth to investors and consumers.”