Jun 06, 2019 / in Comms Best Practices / by Sarah A. Parker

Recently we put together our 2019 Travel Pitching Kit to help comms and PR professionals connect with the right storytellers- be they journalists, bloggers, or the ever Instagram-worthy travel influencer- to position the best stories. 

Among all of the amazing tips we got from across the industry, here are the top 5 takeaways we saw pop up again and again.  

1 | Do your research  

No matter what kind of pitch it is that you’re putting together, you always want to do your research before you reach out. With travel you want to be even more specific with what a certain journalist, blogger or influencer generally covers.  

Is it:  

  • Family-friendly travel 
  • LGBTQ friendly travel  
  • Single adults  
  • Ecotourism  
  • Voluntourism  
  • Luxury travel  
  • Budget travel  
  • Food-centered travel  
  • Adventure-based travel  

These are a just a few different specialties that come to mind, many of which were touched on by the professionals in our full Travel Pitching Kit. Some of them cover beats that include several of these category descriptors.  

Manny Velasquez-Paredes, Editor-in-Chief of Connexions Magazine, shared this: 

“For example, we are an LGBTQ travel magazine, and I sometimes get pitches for anti-LGBTQ books or companies. One time I received a pitch from a very openly anti-LGBTQ politician and they wanted me to help them make a video go viral. There were so many wrong things with that pitch.” 

Even if your pitch isn’t that off-base, you’re still jeopardizing a future relationship by sending a pitch that’s the wrong fit the first time. Even if the second pitch you have for them is perfect, they may not be interested because you wasted their time once— especially if that was your first interaction.  

2 | Have everything ready to go 

Everyone is busy. Make sure you have everything a journalist, blogger or influencer would need to create content on a tight timeline. They’re much more likely to accept your pitch if they don't have to spend a lot of time and back-and-forth getting all of the details and assets they need.  

James Hills of Mantripping had this to say about it:  

“. . .have your stuff together and ready for me to work with. This includes high-res photos and other assets; provide a link and understand that I might reference it 30, 60 even 90 days from now so don't remove the Dropbox.”  

3 | Be sure you follow up  

More than one travel storyteller we spoke to expressed their frustration with comms pros who don’t close the circle when it comes to a campaign or project, especially if they’ve been incredibly responsive and collaborative during the pitch and lead-up to the story.  

John Roberts of In The Loop Travel summed it up perfectly:  

“It can be really frustrating to have a whirlwind relationship right before and during a media trip or campaign but absolutely no follow up after the trips to create a longer life cycle for the content. It is crucial to leverage the content in the best way possible through sharing, but often these opportunities are missed. Bring the content to the brands you represent and have them put it out on their channels, too, or work on a way to repurpose it for marketing materials, etc.”  

If you’re doing the work, landing the pitch, getting the story, be sure you’re also getting as much as you possibly can out of that content once it exists.  

4| Know what the trends are  

These travel storytellers know what the trends in travel are better than anyone, and we saw a few commonalities when we asked them what they thought the trends of travel were this summer.  

Several named:  

  • Experiences over everything else 
  • Family travel, even multi-generational   
  • Eco-friendly travel  

Dawn Garcia, Editor-in-Chief of ATOD Magazine, put it this way:  

“I think travelers are getting overwhelmed with ‘Insta-worthy’ travel and are more focused on places that allow them to feel more serenity and less pressure. People want to spend on experiences and memories versus social media over-saturation.”  

5| Know what to avoid 

What’s not hot? Overtourism.  

Travelers are more conscious of the impact their presence has on travel as they see the same places again and again on Instagram.  

This is a golden rule of pitching, really: Find a way to make your story stand out. You don’t want to be lost in a sea of identical waterfall shots.  

Want more? Download the full 2019 Travel Pitching Kit here.  

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About Sarah A. Parker

Sarah A. Parker is the Content Marketing Manager for TrendKite, a Cision company, where she can be found planning, producing and curating content across channels. She previously managed content and social media for several brands, in addition to working as a freelance writer. Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks where she is happy to talk all things integrated PR and social media strategy, and mastiffs.