Having been a public relations consultant for more than seven years, I have written many press releases. What I learned is that just about everyone, including the media, loves "Top 10" lists. I would suggest not taking them too seriously. Oftentimes, the lists are totally subjective and publicized without any well-explained methodology.
TripAdvisor just released a list of its top 10 eco-friendly accommodations. I came across the release on PRNewswire. It is a list, TripAdvisor says, that was generated by TripAdvisor editors and travelers. TripAdvisor did not say how many travelers participated in suggesting destinations for the list. Was it 10 travelers? Ten thousand? We may never know. Were there any criteria at all for choosing the green accommodations? Again, this is something TripAdvisor does not reveal.
I am not questioning the "eco-friendliness" of the properties that made TripAdvisor's list. There are some good ones included, including the Hotel Terra, The Ambrose and Concordia Eco-Tents. But there are also some glaring omissions, including the LEED Platinum certified Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C. and those hotels that have been certified LEED Gold.
Top 10 lists are great publicity tools. Most of the time, however, they should not be taken too seriously—especially when survey sample size and methodology are omitted. What do you think?