Connections: Building Relationships with Tourism Organizations


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Training presentation for UpTake travel bloggers, about connecting with tourism organizations like CVB (Convention and Visitor's Bureau) and DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) as part of their blogging work.

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Connections: Building Relationships with Tourism Organizations

  1. 1. Connections: Building Relationships with Tourism Organizations Sheila Scarborough, Tourism Currents
  2. 2. First, some tourism terms.... CVB : Convention and Visitor's Bureau DMO : Destination Marketing Organization Tourist Board : Often used outside the U.S. Fam tour : Familiarization tour, same as press trip or media trip
  3. 3. Travel bloggers love travel, right?
  4. 4. ....and tourism organizations love their destination and want coverage, right? <---- Ann Peavey with the Seattle CVB (photo courtesy Seattle CVB)
  5. 5. D'oh! Match made in heaven. Well....
  6. 6. Do bloggers “get” CVBs? Do CVBs “get” bloggers?
  7. 7. Why bloggers freak them out.... SATW Editor's conference, Portland (courtesy Jen Leo on TwitPic)
  8. 8. Why you want to connect with CVBs <ul><li>Background information on a destination </li><ul><li>Itinerary and story ideas ( Nashville example ) </li></ul><li>Help with connections in the area </li><ul><li>Getting those interviews and quotes </li></ul><li>Research assistance
  9. 9. Press trip/fam tour opportunities
  10. 10. Some need content and might hire you! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Why CVBs want to connect with you <ul><li>Coverage and destination awareness
  12. 12. Need for online content recognized </li><ul><li>Must feed search engines </li></ul><li>They know they need new types of visitors
  13. 13. BUT, because some may have little knowledge of the social Web.... </li><ul><li>They may think that things go magically “viral” just by connecting with bloggers </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Recognize some issues.... <ul><li>CVBs have limitations/restrictions </li><ul><li>Member politics
  15. 15. Budgets </li></ul><li>Social media still new </li><ul><li>What you think is normal scares the bejeebers out of some </li></ul></ul>Photo courtesy Annie in Beziers on Flickr CC
  16. 16. How CVBs used to connect <ul><li>Building personal relationships (Yay!)
  17. 17. Press releases sprayed to lists of writers pulled from a database
  18. 18. Press trips and fam tours </li><ul><li>Only “writers on assignment” from print pubs
  19. 19. Article(s) show up – hopefully – in magazines and newspapers 6 months to a year later </li></ul><li>Trade shows and media meet-and-greets </li><ul><li>Ex: Travel Media Showcase </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. How more CVBs connect now <ul><li>Relationships via Twitter, Facebook, blogs and in person (Yay!)
  21. 21. Personalized and focused email pitches and press releases
  22. 22. Bloggers included in outreach campaigns </li><ul><li>Targeted press releases
  23. 23. Contests and giveaways
  24. 24. Press trip offers
  25. 25. Willingness to see you as “media” </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Ready to connect? Just be aware, some CVBs may not know “ what to do with you.” OK, 1 st step....
  27. 27. Where do you want to visit? <ul><li>Get local first
  28. 28. Favorite destinations
  29. 29. Widen your scope. Tourism is.... </li><ul><li>Heritage trails
  30. 30. Chambers of Commerce
  31. 31. Scenic highways
  32. 32. Parks (state/nat'l)
  33. 33. Agritourism </li></ul></ul>British Museum tour (courtesy Wayne Large at Flickr CC)
  34. 34. Mississippi Gulf Coast tourism site How to connect....
  35. 35. Mid-point break for questions 555 LED flasher candy (courtesy oskay at Flickr CC)
  36. 36. Local & small town may = best opportunities Photo courtesy BJMcCray at Flickr CC
  37. 37. New ways to connect using Twitter <ul><li>Twitter Lists of CVBs on Listorious </li></ul><ul><li>#tourismchat </li><ul><li>Every other Thurs (next is Jun 3)
  38. 38. Check the chat Facebook Page </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Press Trips/Fam Tours <ul><li>How a destination introduces itself
  40. 40. Can make connections for follow-up visits
  41. 41. Itinerary is a mix </li><ul><li>Different restaurants/eateries
  42. 42. Cross-section of attractions </li></ul><li>Side trips/alternatives can be arranged </li><ul><li>One day of fam is often “pick one” from several choices of activities </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. This does not suck (Hawaii Tourism Authority press trip)
  44. 44. Press Trips/Fam Tour Advantages <ul><li>Free to attendees </li><ul><li>CVB covers meals, entry fees, lodging
  45. 45. Airfare often NOT included </li></ul><li>Lot of effort made to show you variety </li><ul><li>Lots of story ideas
  46. 46. “Insider,” behind-the-scenes looks </li></ul><li>Conviviality of fellow writers/photographers
  47. 47. Good coverage of a place usually results in more press trip invites </li></ul>
  48. 48. Press Trip/Fam Tour Disadvantages <ul><li>“One Size Fits Most” on the trip </li><ul><li>Up to you to find unique story angles </li></ul><li>Forced march through paradise </li><ul><li>Little time to mix significantly with locals
  49. 49. Just as you're getting a story idea jelled, or focused on an angle, it's time to move on </li></ul><li>Many pubs do not allow “comped travel” </li><ul><li>National Geographic Traveler , Condé Nast Traveler , many newspaper travel sections
  50. 50. The New York Times says never (!) </li></ul></ul>
  51. 51. Be ready to justify your worth <ul><li>Know your blog's stats/analytics
  52. 52. Know your blog's audience
  53. 53. Do more than blog
  54. 54. Scrutiny isn't personal; it's just business </li></ul>Are you up to snuff? (courtesy Lazurite at Flickr CC)
  55. 55. Things that drive CVBs crazy.... <ul><li>Lack of response to trip coordinating emails
  56. 56. Lack of professionalism </li><ul><li>Excessive partying
  57. 57. Making the rest of the group late
  58. 58. Mooching and freeloading </li></ul><li>Never saying “thank you”
  59. 59. Never sending a follow-up note with links to content that was produced. </li></ul>
  60. 60. Big issues: Can they buy your voice? Full disclosure is the law. Can you turn the trip into paid work? If not, you're just producing free content.
  61. 61. Massachusetts tourism site.
  62. 62. Working for a CVB <ul><li>Budgets are tight, but.... </li><ul><li>Opportunities increasing
  63. 63. Can you also provide video, photos or other help besides text? </li></ul><li>Bloggers on tourism websites: </li><ul><li>See example----> Visit Florida
  64. 64. Discover South Carolina
  65. 65. Tourisme Montréal </li></ul></ul>
  66. 66. New Event <ul><li>Just announced last week....
  67. 67. A Tourism Currents CVB/tourism social media workshop at BlogWorld & New Media Expo </li><ul><li>Las Vegas, October 13, 2010
  68. 68. Will include “speed dating” session(s) for CVBs and interested content producers
  69. 69. BlogWorld also great for networking with other bloggers and/or potential sponsors </li></ul></ul>
  70. 70. Thanks for your time! Sheila Scarborough @SheilaS on Twitter