Whether we’re pitching our stories, introducing a new brand, or gathering feedback, our PR team liaise with journalists daily. And one thing we’ve noticed over recent months is the shift in journalist preferences when it comes to travel stories.
Now we’re in peak summer season, it’s becoming more competitive than ever to cut through the noise and get your story featured – especially with the number of PRs and brands going after the same journalists.
To help brands looking to get their stories featured, we’ve shared the tactics* that are currently working and should be considered as part of your outreach strategy.
The biggest shift we’re seeing is the need for thought-leadership articles. Journalists are seeking more helpful, quick-fire content during the busy holiday season (in the form of tips).
The content you’re putting out needs to be useful, accurately answer questions that audiences are asking and relate to your brand and services. If you’ve got an internal spokesperson with the relevant expertise, utilise them.
How you position your tips to the media is also key. Popular headlines include “Travel expert reveals their simple hacks to X” or “I’m a travel expert and here’s how you should X”.
Another tactic we’re seeing perform well is the use of influencer collaborations to elevate stories, whether that’s through them sharing their hidden secrets, top tips, or experiences.
As per the recent Search updates, Google is focusing its efforts on making it easier for users to access information from real people, who share their experiences on platforms, like social. So, when collaborating with influencers, make sure they also share the content across their channels via a post or video. Many journalists welcome video content to support their articles, so include a video within your pitch, too.
Never worked with influencers before? Our Senior Influencer Marketing Manager, Kenny Metham, shares his top tip for identifying the right influencer for your brand:
“Don’t just take their audience metrics into consideration, look at their creative positioning, too. If the influencer’s content is a huge step away from your established tone of voice, rethink – unless your strategy is to re-brand or target a new audience.
“You also need to consider their niche. There’s no point asking an influencer who creates recipes to share their tips on travel savings because their audience won’t go to their channel for this content.
“So, don’t just look at influencers’ numbers, take into account their personal brand as well as this is just as important.”
Case studies elevate a story and add a real-life element that audiences can relate to. If your content focuses on a rising trend, supporting case studies from people that have tried or benefited from it could work. Or perhaps your new study reveals budget-friendly destinations, could you gather supporting case studies from people that have saved money?
Top tip: If possible, make sure you have an image of the person sharing their story to also share with the media. This adds authority to your brand’s piece, which Google is a big fan of!
Tips and tricks
Flight attendants, hotel workers or other travel workers’ tricks are going down a storm right now. Audiences love an inside snoop, especially if it’s focusing on industry secrets such as upgrades, getting some money back, food and drink, things to avoid, etc. Last year, we revealed expert etiquette tips for poolside harmony and it’s still building results.
This is a given, but if you can include cost-related factors, perfect. Destinations that are generally surprisingly cheap for flights, hotels or food and drink. Or hacks on saving costs in general, especially for families.
Always look to share images as part of your pitch. However, having spoken with our journalist contacts, a Dropbox link is always preferred over images being attached to the pitch.
Finally, make sure you’re building relationships with journalists and not spamming them with pitches. If you have a wish list of publications where you’re keen to secure placements, before pitching, email the journalist. Simply introduce yourself, your brand, and your expertise alongside the topics you’re able to comment on, as well as upcoming stories you have in the pipeline.
It’s always worth noting exactly why you’re getting in contact too, for example, you know the journalist focuses on staycation-related content, which is a sector you operate in. So, by mentioning this, it showcases you’ve done your research on their work.
*The insight into media preferences and the shift in content themes have been determined from analysing our own results across our clients within the travel sector alongside gathering feedback from national and travel-specific journalists on what they’re looking for now and analysing recent articles and headlines. Please note, these insights are solely for the UK market.