The ability of a travel PR firm to gain traction in a publicity campaign is predicated to a large extent on its established media relationships that reach specific target markets. Without those contacts in place, no matter how many press releases you write, coverage will be scant or non-existent. A facile PR pro knows how to forge those relationships, reaching out to journalists with beats that are in line with the content of the pitch.
Fine-tuning your pitch is essential
But before that can occur, it is vital to craft a pitch that is geared to each specific publication. With the myriad of special interest publications, how do you skew your pitches to those markets? Here is an outline of the categories it’s necessary to segment when launching a campaign, and a breakdown on various media categories that any travel PR pro must master:
1. General Interest
These publications include Time, Business Inside, and CNN.com. all of which our boutique PR firm works with on a regular basis. Here you need a pitch that appeals to a broad audience, but your angle needs to be timely and newsworthy, simply stated, to get your point across.
Such top press as Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure are the kingpins for those in the travel field. Since competition is fierce, it’s vital to read the publications and skew your pitch to the particular columnist.
The destination wedding has blossomed in recent years, and hotels avidly pursue this market. Case studies are often of interest to the editors at these publications, so it’s important to secure the approval of a bride and groom to pitch their story. Our agency has long established relationships with such powerhouses as Destination Weddings and Honeymoons, where we’ve secured multi-page features on a property.
This segment has exploded in recent years, and as this particular market generally has high disposable income, it is key for luxury travel products. The outlets that hold sway here are Out Magazine and the Advocate, both of which have devoted readers, and the editors actively seek destinations to cover.
5. Regional Magazines
Every state has at least one monthly periodical, and most feature a travel column. These publications are hungry for material, but it is important to know if they cover travel stories outside their region. When designing a PR campaign it’s important to analyze where your guests primarily come from, and go after the magazines that circulate in those areas. Such outlets include New York Magazine, Ocean Drive, and Texas Monthly.
While the print circulations of the top newspapers have declined in recent years, the online versions still attract significant readerships. Top targets here include The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune. Here editors are looking for up-to-the-minute travel deals and new services offered in their markets.
With the explosion of foodies, those culinary devotees whose travel plans are heavily influenced by dining choices and the availability of fresh and interesting dining options, such media as Saveur and Bon Appetit are among the outlets you want to hit.
8. Business Publications
Such outlets as Forbes Life and Business Insider run travel stories that provide venues for conferences and retreats that corporations seek. Often, resorts and hotels are booked for incentives and conferences, all of which can be publicized in these outlets.
One last tip: when you are writing your pitch, make sure you skew the content to the audience of the publication. That way, you have a better chance of getting the editor’s attention.