Estc12 media-loves-ecotourism-final


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ESTC'12 presentation by Michael McColl of McColl Communications ( ).

Topic: Best Practices in PR for Sustainable Travel -- AKA "The Media Loves Ecotourism”

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Estc12 media-loves-ecotourism-final

  1. 1. Best Practices in PR for Sustainable Travel -- AKA "The Media Loves Ecotourism” By Michael McColl Founder & CEO, McColl Communications @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  2. 2. MCCOLL COMMUNICATIONS Client Portfolio: @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  3. 3. LIFE ISN’T FAIR We have advantages that non-ecotourism businesses don’t. Our product “feels good.” And (done right), does good. @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
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  8. 8. “PEOPLE DON’T BUY WHAT YOU DO; PEOPLE BUY WHY YOU DO IT.” •The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. •The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe. •People who believe what you believe take on your cause and make it there own. They dont take this trip to help you, they take it for them. • Sustainable travel not only inspires people, but makes them passionate about being a part of something important -- protecting our planet. • I’ve come to believe my MISSION in life is to use the power of travel to change the world. One of the ways I do that is via PR. In the next few minutes Id like to share how you too can not just build your business, but change the world.Friday, October 12, 12
  9. 9. 3 KEY INGREDIENTS TO PR CAMPAIGNS: who: target market (those who believe what you believe) what: call to action (MUST be subtle, not marketing-speak) why (why now): news hook Since PR is not paid advertising, you dont control when, how or even if it gets picked up by a given publication. A single press release rarely results in coverage. PR is a virtuous cycle, whose returns increase over time. @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  10. 10. 3 COMMON PR TACTICS: Stunts Custom pitches Press releases @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  11. 11. RECOGNIZE THIS? @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  12. 12. PATAGONIA’S “DON’T BUY THIS JACKET” CAMPAIGN Black Friday & Cyber Monday, 2011. Tactics: emails to customers, & print/online ads. But clearly the purpose was PR, and it led to widespread media coverage. Patagonia’s Common Threads Initiative asks you to not only purchase less, but to buy only what you need. And to repair what you buy before you replace it. (Theyll help.) Patagonia even accepts worn-out gear from its customers, and recycles it into new gear. why it works: Shared beliefs. The campaign reinforces Patagonia brand message: we build durable stuff you can feel good about owning. Were a responsible company that shares your values" (Those who respond to this ad do so because they share Patagonias ethics. Wearing the jacket is social proof.) @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  13. 13. RECOGNIZE THIS?Friday, October 12, 12
  14. 14. “BEST JOB IN THE WORLD” CAMPAIGN In 2009, Tourism Queensland promoted the Great Barrier Reef as a global tourism destination. People worldwide to applied to be a "Caretaker" to "house-sit" the islands of the Great Barrier Reef for half a year, based on Hamilton Island. $1.2 million budget; the campaign generated more than $200 million in global publicity value for Tourism Queensland. @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  15. 15. CUSTOM PITCHES Blogger/journalist outreach: Hand-pitching is very expensive! Hours per pitch, minimum. And the hit rate is still not high. How to make worthwhile? Build relationships. If you are small and doing this yourself, pick less than 5 journalists/editors that would be a great fit for you: they right for your target market, and theyve written about offerings like yours in the past. Journalists hate spam, hate all email, and are naturally skeptical of pitches. BUT… they love comments on their blogs & interactivity in their social media streams. Monitor your target writer/bloggers daily/weekly Engage in conversation; contribute worthwhile comments Stay in touch! Nurture the relationship @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  16. 16. A SAMPLE CUSTOM PITCH A zero-budget success story: I respond to a journalist tweet complaining about Top 10 lists: Inside the Travel Lab 2011 “When it comes to “Top Ten” lists, I find the So when an email landed in my ludicrously o Ethical Destinations,” my cynical old heart I really wanted to believe someone had put something that “meant” something – but a for the worst. In spite of myself, I opened it. It started with a pleasant surprise (addres moved on: “Ethical Traveler conducts an annual study Zimbabwe to identify the best ethical tour categories: environmental protection, socia travel…) @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  17. 17. RESULT: CHARMING COVERAGE 2012: http:/ /www.insidet ethical-travel/ "So, if you remember from la regularly spam me with pre think I should publish over h totally inappropriate and ut Well, the guys over at E put a bit more work in have come up with a lis destinations for 2012 chances? They’re called they write about ethic @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  18. 18. AND FOLLOW-UP COVERAGE THIS YEAR @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  19. 19. PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION This is the classic “shotgun method” of PR. Can be effective if you have a large and well-targeted list. But the conversion rate is as low as that of direct mail. Without a doubt, many of your messages will get deleted unread. How to improve the ROI? Use press releases as an SEO tool. Back-links are guaranteed. Quality media coverage will come with time, but can never be guaranteed. @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12
  20. 20. CASE STUDY: PRESS RELEASE AS SEO TOOL Before: not in first 10 pages of Google SERPs After: 1 SEO’d release: 3 listings in first 3 pages of Google SERPs (+radio)Friday, October 12, 12
  21. 21. CASE STUDY: PRESS RELEASE AS SEO TOOL Before: SEEtheWILD PageRank = 2 After: 1 SEO’d release: SEEtheWILD PageRank = 4 (+media coverage)Friday, October 12, 12
  22. 22. PRESS RELEASES = EVEN MORE SEO OVER TIME • Before: In 2003, had zero PageRank • After: in spite of our nearly non-existent budget, we now have a PageRank of 6, and have popularized the term “ethical travel.” • Key Tactic: a media-friendly annual “best of” list.Friday, October 12, 12
  23. 23. PRESS RELEASES CAN CHANGE THE WORLD: Case study: Ethical Traveler’s tourism boycott of NepalFriday, October 12, 12
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  25. 25. In conclusion: • PR is a long-term investment that produces increasing returns over time. • People dont buy what you sell, they buy WHY you sell it. The End (or “###” in PR-speak) @michaelmccoll #estc12Friday, October 12, 12