One hit in a big tourism news outlet can justify your entire summer budget. Here are three pointers for breaking through, courtesy of an industry veteran.
Placement in a leading travel media outlet can increase web traffic and generate bookings for your hotel, resort, theme park, cruise, city or regional attraction. That’s why competition for a travel editor’s attention is at an all-time high this summer. Here are three ways to break through the clutter and earn coverage the next time you pitch a top-tier journalist on the travel and hospitality beat:
- Think bigger than your client. “It’s often easier for us to cover trends or new markets than it is to do a one-off story on a client,” says Paul Brady, senior editor at Condé Nast Traveler.
He advises answering these questions when crafting pitches: What bigger storyline does your client fit into? In what way are they part of a major movement?
Cruise lines are a great example. “Every cruise line wants big coverage in Condé Nast Traveler,” Brady says, “but I can’t profile particular initiatives like new dining programs or enhancements to existing ships.”
He can, however, cover the industry more broadly, and he did so in a recent roundup titled, “Six New Cruise Trends You’ll Definitely Want to Know About.”
Brady was able to flesh out this story with helpful documents from PR pros who pitched their products as not just about their particular line or ship, but as part of industry-wide changes.
Register for PR Daily’s July 28 webinar “Travel Editors Shark Tank: Test Your Pitch, Hear Hot Topics and Score More Ink” for pitching tips from top travel journalists.
- Think multi-platform. “I spend much of my time on our print magazine, but of course we’re on all the social media platforms, including Snapchat and Facebook Live,” Brady says. “While your news may not be a print feature, could it work on our social channels? We’re always looking for innovative stories there.”
He’s experimenting with video, in particular. “We’re doing lots of on-location shoots for both Snapchat and Facebook Live,” he says. These typically require on-camera interviews and access.
“Ask yourself which of your client’s staff is best on camera, as well as where and when we’ll shoot at your location,” Brady says. For example, will the sun be setting in the shot? If Brady’s team is touring the pool, will guests be there, as well?
“Now’s the time to think like a producer—or, in the case of platforms like Twitter or Instagram, a social media manager,” he says.
The video below is a recent success. Created for Negroni Week, it was coordinated weeks before the event. That planning with the PR team helped Brady turn the item around on a tight schedule.
- Have assets and interviews ready. “If your client is making news, we’ll want to talk to the key people and get photos or video of whatever it is we’re talking about,” Brady says. “Lining those up and prepping sources should happen before the pitch.”
Southwest Airlines does this well. “Over a year ago, the airline rolled out wider seats for many of their planes,” Brady recalls. “The PR team there got in touch a few days before their scheduled announcement, sent over photos and fact sheets, and even made key execs available.”
The result was a highly trafficked web item titled “Everything You Need to Know About Southwest’s New Seats” that went live simultaneously with the company’s announcement.
Brian Pittman is a Ragan Communications consultant and webinar manager for PR Daily’s PR University. Author and columnist Chris Elliott, Condé Nast Traveler Senior Editor Paul Brady, Travel + Leisure News Director Sara Clemence and New York Times Deputy Travel Editor Monica Drake will share more tips in PR University’s July 28 webinar, “Travel Editors Shark Tank: Test Your Pitch, Hear Hot Topics and Score More Ink.”