Electronic Media Research Manager Beth Blanchard contributed to this post.
Pitching the ever-on-the-move travel writers can prove daunting for many a PR professional, but as Jamie Gall from the wanderlust blog Minnesota Girl in the World tells us, if you do your homework, include many details on the location, and add an invite for a grand opening, your travel pitch can go a long way. Read Gall’s advice, pet-peeves and pitching preferences and let us know how you tailor your pitch for the travel community.
How do you prefer to receive press materials?
Email is the best way, and even easier when everything is right there. Share your agenda – why you’re reaching out to me, ideas for why you wanted to reach out to me: story idea, giveaway opportunity, FAM trip, sight visit, etc. The more details the better.
What kind of information do you prefer to receive?
As many details as possible. Are you working to create a partnership with me and my outlet, are you looking to run a story, or do you want me to come visit your destination for a story or group of stories altogether? Let me know what exactly it is you’re looking for.
I also love when you don’t just pitch me your destination, but share tidbits about the location. It’s an entire package. Your destination is a part of the location, so sell the location too. Send dinner recommendations, fun tours, etc., with your pitch.
What will catch your attention?
Always, an attention-grabber is when an invite comes through with the press release. Invites are the first emails I read, whether it’s a grand opening, FAM trip, or museum outing, I will always look. May not always be able to make it work, but it’s a priority.
Also, show your personality in the pitch. Align with your brand, your destination and make it fun. A funny story, or somehow relating to us, always stands out. And if you’ve taken the time to actually read my site–don’t just mention my latest stories, but perhaps a story you’ve read a month ago that grabbed your attention. The more you put effort into me, the easier it is for me to want to know you more.
Does your blog host paid placements or sponsored content?
My site is very open to paid placements and sponsored content. All sponsored content, at this time, is written by me. It will be spun in a fun, creative story that aligns with my site, Minnesota Girl in the World, but will also showcase the brand in a positive way. I only do positive reviews on my site.
Do you have any additional advice for PR professionals?
We receive a ton of emails daily. Some are a great fit for our site, others are not. I personally try to respond to what I am able, but miss a lot. The key is to not take it personally if no response comes. Just means the story may not have been a fit for the site.
How about any pet peeves?
Never badger me about when a story will get put up. I understand how important those stories are, but we also have a schedule we’re working with. It’s most likely on the calendar and I always send the story over when it’s completed.
I love being addressed by name too. It just sounds better than “Dear Blogger…” etc.
Do you use social media like Twitter or Facebook to gather leads and story ideas? Can you be pitched via these channels?
I am very much involved in social media. Find me on Twitter and Instagram at @jamiegall1930. It’s a true compliment when I find out people found me through my photos on Instagram or a tweet.
I am open to being pitched this way as long as things are followed up via email. It’s more personal that way.
Be sure to come back Monday and download our Travel Pitching Kit, where you’ll meet more travel influencers and gain demographic insight on social platforms, travel outlets and opportunities.
Photo via Flickr, courtesy of JoyHey