The American Hotel and Lodging Association retained Battleground Strategies to develop, manage and execute its communications strategy for its successful public affairs campaign to tax and regulate short-term rentals in both Boston and in Massachusetts statewide.
Throughout the multi-year effort, Battleground worked to educate reporters and editors on AHLA’s position, establish AHLA and its in-state affiliate as sources for perspective on the short-term rental issue, ensure the lodging industry’s side of the story was told, and expose Airbnb as a bad actor.
We successfully placed a damaging story about Airbnb’s operations in Boston (“The Airbnb Gold Rush Is On,” Commonwealth Magazine, 1/9/18); pitched a brutal television news investigation on the risks related to short-term rentals (“Hank Investigates: Short Term Rentals,” 7 News Boston, 10/31/17); and developed and achieved publication of an op-ed by the Massachusetts Lodging Association CEO criticizing Airbnb (“Airbnb’s Smoke And Mirrors,” Commonwealth Magazine, 11/10/17).
Battleground was also successful in getting AHLA’s perspective reflected in regular news coverage of short-term rental legislation, and successfully arranged multiple appearances by AHLA and MLA representatives on Boston’s influential NPR station.
We also arranged a coveted Boston Globe editorial board meeting that ultimately led to two editorials supporting taxation and regulation of short-term rentals (“State Should Tax Airbnb, But Let Cities Make Rules,” Editorial, Boston Globe, 6/18/17; (“Pass The Airbnb Tax Already,” Editorial, Boston Globe, 9/17/18).
In the end, Boston and the Commonwealth each enacted the most far-reaching municipal and state legislation in the country taxing and regulating short-term rentals, helping to fuel AHLA’s nationwide efforts.