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As a PR and marketing professional, I would like to know what's the best way to get your attention to cover a certain campaign or issue.
Also what sources do you look to for stories?
Any feedback you could give me will be very much appreciated. Just add a comment to this discussion feed.
I won't care about your issue or campaign, and sending me a press release probably won't make me care. We care about our readers first - as it should be - and the diligent blogger will keep that in mind in all PR interaction.
I recommend that you engage with bloggers BEFORE you need something from them. Read and comment on the blogs,follow on twitter, fan and/or friend on Facebook. Most of us who are pros are looking for long term relationships with PR reps, not just press releases, and recognize that a no today isn't necessarily a no forever or for everything. Pitch on target topics and ideas, care about what we can do for one another, recognize that our publishing outlet is not only our blog but our social media outlets, and basically treat and interact with us the way you'd want us to approach you.
And don't forget to think big - a brand spokesperson or ambassador agreement, a monthly column for your client's blog, a social media campaign, etc. - are far more attractive than writing about a particular deal or event of limited appeal.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have more specific questions.
Editor in Chief, The Travelers Way (www.thetravelersway.com)
You may be interested with some articles that I've written on this topic
Great posts!! It seems to me that you really understand the blogger and PR relationship quite well. I'll be in touch with you to ask you some more questions.
It doesn't take much to have my attention--mention RVs, RVing, national or state parks, hiking, photography, and snowbirds.
For more, please check out my RVing site:
Don't be generic. Give us a compelling headline and lead. So often press releases are dull as shit. They're written to satisfy the client, not to inspire the media, who to be frank get dozens of these a day. "X Hotels are happy to announce ..." I could care less.
And think about lead times. I write for magazines, I'm working on spring and summer 2012. If you have a Christmas or Valentine's Day promotion, that's no good to me. Newspapers might be interested, magazines have pretty much decided on 2012.
Thanks for this feedback! What magazines do you write for?
I have to agree with much of what Mary Jo says.
Get to know the blogger first and follow on the blogger's public social networks. Also a brief, succinct email will work better than a press release. You can always follow up with one later. Nothing annoys me more than receiving long-winded pitches about events or opportunities that have nothing to do with the topics I love.
And when I say succinct, I mean really succinct. Sometimes I prefer to be pitched at via Twitter in 140 characters.
As Mary Jo says, I like to develop long-term, collaborative relationships with PR pros, CVBs and businesses who support my travel stories.
Not all bloggers are professional writers but many are, like myself, and use their own blog as a publishing outlet. Keep that in mind as well. I will delete any pitch that wants to take advantage of my blog without giving me anything in return, as if I was a kid in third grade.
Also, never, ever bait and switch a blogger. Many companies are doing this -- emailing with travel opportunities and then turning the blogger down. That's very unprofessional.
I'm not sure what city you're in, but see if there is a local Social Media Club chapter and if pitching to bloggers is one of the topics at a meetup.
Anyway, I like to write about fishing, romantic travel and pirates, especially in Florida and the Caribbean. Anything in or around water works for my blog. http://sexandthebeach.blogspot.com/search/label/travel
Are you asking your questions of travel writers or are you asking it of travel bloggers who only blog according to a certain model?
"Also what sources do you look to for stories?"
Adriana Gallegos-I've been amazed that so many important stories in travel are on the travel forums.Sometimes issues that are totally ignored by the Travel Press. What's worse is some bloggers and travel writers ignore their comments when there is useful info for them in the comments.
1. Don't forget we have a B-to-B relationship
Please don't try to "tease" me in the same way that a magazine cover teases its potential buyers at the newstand. I don't have time for that. For example, if you're writing to me about US Ski resorts, simply say so in the subject line, please don't write lines like, "Ready for Snow?" As the EIC of a lifestyle magazine, a header like that could mean anything from lip gloss to warm hats, or hot cocoa recipes to new ski boots. I get over 300 email PR pitches a day and don't have time to play "guess what this email is about?".
2. Don't write a novel
Once I open your email, give me the who, what, when, where and why.. I don't have time to read 10 paragraphs of text.. Give me the criticial info in bullet points, bold names you want me to remember. and then feel free to write more which I can chose to read once it know it might be for me. Put as much info in the email text, so I don't have to open attachments. Those are ok if I ask for additional info.
3. Don't treat online like we're 2nd class.
Just because I'm online doesn't mean I'm willing to do your advertising for free. We support ourselves the same way the glossies do.....with advertising.(and we charge a lot less!) I'm amazed at how many emails I get from publicists telling me that their hotel (or client's hotel) is running a special promotion and how you would "love to see this run in our travel section". (uh, yeah, i'm sure you would). But then when I reply with our rates, so many seemed shocked. Would you ask Vogue, CN Traveler or MarieClaire to run free advertisements that your hotesl are having promotions....or running a contest? Thought not. So why ask me and then get shocked when I want an ad fee? We write high quality editorials, without the qui pro quo that many of the glossies require; so please, just because we're nice and give your clients great editorial coverage, don't then try to take advantage of that by assuming we're also going to place your ads for free.
4. Don't assume all online is short lead.
I have 12 editors and approx 15 writers and it's now less than one week until Thanksgiving and I'm still getting pitches for "What to wear at Thanksgiving dinner" and "Thanksgiving Cocktails guests will adore". Yes, as an online magazine, we have more flexibility that those stuck in print, and we do occasionally place something last minute, but we try not to do this too often. We're currently working on Valentine's Day.
5. Don't pitch me story ideas
Sure, some things are generic and many story ideas are done every year, such as luxury resorts for June weddings.. However, sometimes a story idea might have a really different angle and if you're sending out that email to 50 editors, how could I possibly use it? You think I want to write the same piece as 30 other magazines, whether print or online? Just give me the info and my team will come up with the story. For example, one hotel publicist sent me an email that their hotel now accepts dogs. That inspired me to come up with an article on hotels around the US that accept dogs. We ran it a couple of months ago and it was really popular. (there are others more unique, but I'm not sharing until they're out! )
Lastly, I so agree with Mary Jo - get to know us editors. Personally, I write mostly about skin care, fragrance and travel, and while the beauty publicists have gone out of their way to get to know me, so few of the travel publicists have made the effort. Much of my writing is pure travel pieces, though many have a beauty slant. There are so many ways a travel publicist and I could brainstorn for some terrific pieces.... if we knew one another. Follow me on twitter, invite me out for a coffee, etc. It's about relationship building, not short term metworking. You or I may change companies but it's likely we'll still be doing what we do.
There are several ways:
It is all about building relationships.
Maralyn D. Hill, President, IFWTWA