Think you’re up to date on how to manage travel public relations programs? Take this quiz to see whether or not you’re operating like a pro.
1. A smart strategy for garnering media attention about your destination, hotel or attraction is to:
a. Send information to as many editors as possible; this is a numbers game and more is more
b. Select a small number of your dream media targets, read what they’ve written in the past and individually send each a personalized email message relating to their interests
c. Distribute a news release via a newswire service like BusinessWire or PR Newswire
d. All of the above
If you answered “a,” it’s time for a media relations makeover. It may be counter-intuitive, but your odds of gaining the attention of a travel editor increases exponentially when you follow the approach outlined in “b.” As for answer “c,” using a press release distribution service can pay dividends for breaking news, but it has to be something truly newsworthy like the opening of a new hotel, attraction or service. And you should augment that effort with customized email messages to your top editorial contacts.
2. The best way to inspire an editor to assign a story about a hotel, destination or attraction is to:
a. Wax poetically about how beautiful, cool or amazing it is
b. Map your idea to a trend taking the nation by storm
c. Briefly outline its distinctive qualities and explain the benefit of a visit. Tell them that other important media have written about it so they should, too
I’m going to be up-front: no one cares if you think a place is pretty or awesome. An editor is not looking for your judgment or opinion. In fact, it’s critical that media relations professionals be as objective as possible in their communications. You’ll be much more successful applying strategies “b” and “c,” remembering that every editor wants a unique story for his or her readers, not one that’s already been published.
3. An effective approach for communicating information about a festival or event to travel media is to:
a. Call editors to see if they’d be interested in covering your event
b. Email a news release
c. Send a brief email describing the festival and identify what, when, where and cost
d. Email a calendar advisory with pertinent details
If you answered “c” or “d,” you’re headed in the right direction. Calendar editors don’t like to have to navigate through a long press release with quotes and background detail; make it as easy as possible for them to quickly scan and select the event name, dates, place and cost.
4. The lead time for sending information to travel media about a new hotel, attraction or event is:
a. Same day the news breaks
b. A week in advance
c. Four weeks in advance
d. Six months in advance
Whether you’re contacting a newspaper, blog, magazine or broadcast outlet, the more advance notice you can provide, the better the result. Monthly magazines work six months or more in advance, so be mindful of their deadlines. Following up with an additional email the week before a new hotel or attraction opens is also recommended.
So … how did you do overall? If you didn’t score as well as you hoped, you can learn more effective travel PR strategies from my other Marketing:Travel articles posted here.