05 Jan Five steps to securing media coverage for your travel business in 2018
Whether you’re new to PR or overwhelmed by the amount of work involved in promoting your travel business in the press, there are a few key ingredients that can help you on your way. For many the first challenge can be identifying the one or two little things that can make a big difference. Follow these five steps to nailing your PR in 2018.
Make a plan
Don’t get hung up on having to produce a lengthy PR Plan: This can be one side of A4. The important thing is to jot down 1) who your core target audience is, 2) how you might be able to reach them and 3) what resources and budget you have available to do so. There’s no point committing to sending out a press release every month to the local press if you don’t have the time or staff to do this. Equally if you’re a café or restaurant interested in generating more local traffic then some good publicity in your weekly gazette can be worth the time invested.
Commit to doing a few things well
Media coverage doesn’t just result from sending out press releases. If you have limited resources you might decide your time is best spent on social media; more and more journalists are using Twitter to research stories. If you’re frequent and fluent on this channel – using relevant and topical hashtags – you stand a better chance of being found. Twitter is also a great platform for finding and engaging with journalists. Read our post on six ways to stand out online.
Create a content calendar
It’s easy for the days and weeks to slip by without issuing a press release or sending a single tweet. Having a simple calendar drawn up of key dates (such as Mother’s Day and Easter), any events you might be running and noteworthy events happening nearby can be a great way to focus your PR and social media activity.
It’s also worth spending a little time researching national awareness days, which can sometimes be used to good effect. Bear in mind that while social media can be impromptu and last minute, if you’re planning to pitch a story idea pegged to a national awareness day to a national newspaper then you’ll need to approach them sometimes up to three weeks in advance. (For magazines it’s more like three months.)
Trial a journalist alert service
A journalist alert service is great way to connect with journalists. These paid-for services offer a direct source of editorial tip-offs and requests. Once you sign up you’ll receive email alerts from journalists seeking specific information and interview candidates, often for national media outlets. You then have the option of responding via email to anything you’re able to contribute to and ‘pitch’ your idea.
Most alert services will offer a free week’s trial; this is a good way to find out a) who writes for which outlet and b) what journalists are currently writing about. From personal experience I can recommend Response Source (select from specific categories such as travel or food and drink) and TravMedia (travel industry specific). Before committing to a year’s contract, ask yourself whether you have the time to respond, quickly, to any useful alerts.
Work with partners
One of the most effective ways of maximising PR opportunities is to collaborate with other relevant businesses to promote the wider area. Whether that’s the regional tourist board, or local attractions. If you’re an accommodation provider this can be by offering to host visiting media, contributing to competition prizes or pooling your budget to pay for a PR consultant to promote your combined proposition.