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Michael Collins #TBEX presentation - Bloggers; Working with Travel PRs and Tourist Boards


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You’ve sent numerous emails, you’ve pitched to the best of your abilities, you’ve even followed up with phone calls BUT you still seem to be getting nowhere with that PR person or Tourist Board representative. You may have even already featured their client in an article or blog post but now the conversation has suddenly gone quiet. Why?

Unfortunately there are usually a number of reasons why you are not getting the results you had hoped for – all of which I plan to tell you about in my TBEX speaker session. Working as a travel PR, with a background in journalism and publishing, I am lucky to have stood on both sides of the fence when it comes to media/PR relationships.

Let’s begin with the obvious – first impressions count! Travel PRs receive numerous media requests and pitches on a daily basis so you need to make sure that you spark their interest and stand out from the crowd. Saying that, standing out from the crowd is only beneficial if it is in a positive way.

In the case of Travel PRs and Tourist Boards the first impression normally IS the last impression.

Travel PR’s are somewhat like elephants – they never forget and they have long memories so make sure your first encounter is a positive one.

Here are some tips on how to ensure you are remembered for the right reasons:

1. Manners cost nothing – Be polite and courteous. It will stand to you.
2. Do your research – know our clients and how we work.
3. Be pitch perfect – have your pitch prepared and ready. This is guaranteed to impress.

Once you have passed this first hurdle and built a relationship you then need to make sure you maintain it. Having a good working relationship with Travel PRs and Tourist Boards is essential as it will ensure the following:

1. Invites are being sent for a press trip to a far off location. Travel PRs and Tourist Boards are likely to think of people that they know and have had positive experiences with – make sure you are one of them!
2. Media outlets often liaise with PRs when they are in need of a travel specific journalist for a feature, TV slot or radio interview – if you have impressed in the past then they are sure to recommend you.
3. Need a favour? You’ll be in luck, but only if you have built up a good relationship.

Yes I know, it’s all well and good knowing how to maintain this working relationship – but how do you go about building it? During my speaker session at TBEX Dublin I shared some real-life examples with the audience of good and bad approaches and dealings between media and Travel PRs and Tourist Boards - have a look through this presentation to find out more.

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Michael Collins #TBEX presentation - Bloggers; Working with Travel PRs and Tourist Boards

  1. 1. Working with PRs and Tourist Boards Michael Collins – TravelMedia.ieMichael Collins –
  2. 2. What do WE want to achieve today? I WANT YOU – to have more knowledge than your competitors – to understand from the inside where we all fit in the greater scheme of things – to be able to better communicate better with tourist boards and PRs, speak their language – stats, evergreen etc – to know what they want, to see the relationship from the other side of the fence – to get more trips, more invitations
  3. 3. ck to Add Title • Traditional PR • Social Media – 50% • Press trips • Media Buying • Events • Representation • Strategy
  4. 4. Background
  5. 5. • 2001, 2003, 2009 • I got out • Print was declining • Print not dead • Content delivery + distribution changing • One thing has not changed • GOOD CONTENT • CONTENT IS STILL KING
  6. 6. Mark Twain Cicero Voltaire Blaise Pascal “If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written You a Shorter Letter”
  7. 7. Blaise Pascal “If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written You a Shorter Letter”
  8. 8. Quality writing • Biggest challenge, issue • Advantage and disadvantage • Take your time, write like you have been commissioned for the New York Times, every time
  9. 9. You cannot be serious “Hi Michael, I know you asked for 800 words, but the trip was so much fun and I had so much to say I couldn’t decide which parts to cut, it’s just over 1100 words, you decide……..”
  10. 10. Then and Now • You are the editor, publisher, designer, distributor.... • You’ve got to be good at all the above • First and foremost the writing, content, images • Increased competition, anyone can do it • Relationships with editors no longer key • Relationships with PRs, tourist boards now more important than ever
  11. 11. What do our clients understand about Bloggers? • Some, a lot (younger) • Others, nothing (older, decision makers) • Some have worked with bloggers before • Others have no experience at all • With varying results • Why is this relevant? • You have to sell yourself, what you do
  12. 12. What they do understand is……. • Print - clippings • Broadcast – video/audio clips • Press trips – real people – they were nice • MEASUREMENT • Where did the money go • The internet is great at MEASUREMENT • We love stats – I’ll come back to this
  13. 13. Tips and advice • Follow, Like, Share, Engage with us • Sounds obvious, but a lot of bloggers don’t do it • It’s how we communicate, invite, ask, request…… • Who should you be following – Travel PRs – Tourist Boards – Airlines – Hotel chains
  14. 14. This week on Twitter
  15. 15. Tips and advice • Don’t try and be everywhere • Facebook is not the only platform • Press/blogger trips we need a mix - FB, radio, print, YouTube, Instagram • e.g. Fionn Davenport, Twitter and Instagram only
  16. 16. Don’t Bluff • It’s a small world, we all know each other – travel PRs and tourist boards • I spent 6 years as a travel editor, publisher, writer • Member of global travel PR networks • Ireland, UK, France, USA, South Africa, Australia, Italy, Spain, Germany, India, China, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.
  17. 17. Disconnect • Media = SHORT TERM • Industry = LONG TERM • 2 months notice for a bespoke trip, not 2 weeks or 2 days • Planning for the year ahead takes place Sept-Nov • Festival – City of Culture – 6 months out, not 2 weeks
  18. 18. Are you Monitoring Yourself • Monitor yourself and share your activity with us • Success with Google shows us your blog is set up properly • Are you using Google Authorship?
  19. 19. Google Authorship • Link your Google+ account with your blog • Better search results for your blog posts • Share these results with us
  20. 20. Be Professional • Have a Facebook Business Page, not a Personal Page • We need to see stats • Not possible on a personal page • Likewise for apps and competitions etc
  21. 21. Keeping Facebook Work and Personal Separate • Keep your personal life and party antics separate from your professional life as a travel blogger • We do this in our office. My staff have separate work and personal pages • You can merge your old personal page with a new business page and not lose any Likes
  22. 22. Stats – Reporting - Feedback
  23. 23. Share your stats with us
  24. 24. More Stats PeerIndex, Kred, Google+ Ripples, Facebook EdgeRank Checker, Twitalyzer •We do this in our office. My staff have separate work and personal pages
  25. 25. Evergreen • Show us you know what evergreen means • Don’t just distribute once • Distribute again and again • It’s easy • So many ways, reasons to distribute – festivals, national days, etc. • It helps you and us – grow your audience and ours • Stay in touch and you’ll stay on our radar • Report regularly, updates
  26. 26. Evergreen
  27. 27. Evergreen
  28. 28. Evergreen
  29. 29. Evergreen
  30. 30. Use Our #hashtags • #hashtags are across all platforms, not just Twitter • Facebook being the most recent to adopt the # • Use our #hashtags • Monitoring our #hashtags • #Puglia
  31. 31. Not my job • Yes, it’s not your job • Your job to be a brilliant writer/photographer • GREAT CONTENT – GREAT WRITING • But………………… • There’s a lot of competition out there, and you need to be the best to beat the rest………. • Therefore, it is your job
  32. 32. New V Old Media • They do work together • New is a back door into old media • Fionn Davenport when on Newstalk uses his own personal Twitter handle @fionndavenport when on air • Why? Why do Newstalk allow this? • He brings a new and larger audience to the show • His new world Klout adds value to his position and influence in the old world • Think of yourself as a content creator, with an audience, not just as new media – as a blogger, etc
  33. 33. Know Your Place • Where do you fit, where do I fit, in the world of travel content • Content Marketing • Marketers need content, good content, and lots of it • Government – Tourist Board – PR – Travel Writer - Distribution
  34. 34. Remember this annoying guy?
  35. 35. Takeaways 1. Stats, stats and more stats 2. Communicate. Talk to us. Stay in contact. Report back 3. Content is King, especially well written content 4. Travel industry needs lots and lots of content. Reciprocal relationship 5. Know your medium. Share, RT, Like, Engage, #, Repeat 6. It costs nothing to be polite 7. We work with people we like
  36. 36. Thank you Michael Collins @TravelMedia_ie facebook/