8 Tips For Landing A Dream Travel Story: 3 Editors Dish
Savvy PR professionals plan their media outreach based on deadlines of the different editorial outlets they’re targeting. But in this age of constant communications, that means travel or lifestyle editors are not only working six months or more in advance, they’re also blogging, tweeting, and producing weekly or daily newsletters. Yes, content is king, and these busy editors, like travel marketing pros, need to feed that content machine. So knowing how to best provide value to travel writers and editors is critical.
First, understand how travel editors prefer to be approached. While moderating the media panel at a state tourism contest recently, I asked point-blank. The following tips from Kasey Cordell of Portland Monthly magazine, Eileen Garvin of Travel Oregon magazine and Alex Pulaski of The Oregonian daily newspaper are applicable to a wide variety of editors and provide good guidance for your media relations program.
- Understand the media outlet you’re pitching before you make contact. Know the scope and coverage area, including how often it runs travel pieces, how far away destinations tend to be and what format travel stories take. Having information about production timelines, frequency and audience will improve your pitch. Review past articles and get a sense of which editor or writer is best suited for your topic. Don’t pitch a feature or extended travel department piece for a location it’s written about in the last year.
- Tailor your pitch to one publication at a time instead of sending a broad pitch to multiple publications. When you take the time to craft a pitch to one specific magazine, newspaper or website, it’s obvious to the editor. Not only will it likely prompt a positive response, it may lead to an ongoing relationship.
- Personalize the email to the editor, not using a blanket form of address such as “Dear Sir” or “Dear Ms. Jones,” and spell his or her name correctly.
- Craft your travel pitch around something new − a new business or collection of businesses, a developing trend in the region, or at the very least, a strong seasonal theme.
- Pitch via email, using a simple subject line, such as “New Hotel in Bend, Ore.” Get to the point, artfully if you want, without overdoing it.
- Offer low-resolution sample images with your pitches and say you have high-resolution versions available for editorial use.
- Let at least a couple of days or a week pass before following up via email; don’t call.
- Once in touch with the editor, inquire about the publication's editorial policy regarding press trips and media rates.
The “always on” news cycle means that travel editors need a wide variety of content. Following these guidelines will help you work with them more effectively to generate visibility for your brand.