How To Successfully Pitch Travel Writers In 2024

How to pitch travel writers in 2024

Wouldn’t it be a game-changer if every time your public relations team pitched a story, your travel brand was featured? In this article, we cover ways to effectively pitch writers and secure media coverage for your travel brand, along with the importance of getting into the journalistic mindset, personalizing your pitches, and pinpointing relevant key messaging. 

Consider this: your media relations team is tasked with securing impactful press coverage for a new hotel brand you are developing. After meticulously refining your press release with organizational stakeholders, you’ve strategically identified a select group of writers who have previously covered similar stories. With substantial investment in time and effort, you’re poised to pitch…Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

But what strategies should you employ as you embark on this pitching journey? How can you optimize your approach for success beyond merely targeting the right journalists and distributing a press release? And, most importantly, how do you ensure that your pitch stands out? 

Sending a generic email blast to your targeted reporters may seem like the quickest route to get your message across — an approach that could backfire. Let’s consider this: 

  • For every reporter out there, there are more than six PR professionals trying to get their attention.
  • While a reporter typically crafts 1-2 stories daily, their inbox is flooded with hundreds of pitches.
  • Only 45.3% of pitches were even opened by journalists at all. 
  • Of those 500,000 or so pitches, only 3.15% received a response of any kind. 

In short, you’re stepping into a bustling arena. So, before you click that send button, ask yourself: How can I truly capture the reporters’ attention and earn my coverage?

Think Like A Travel Writer

Understanding travel writers’ perspectives is the first step to fostering mutually beneficial relationships with them and landing meaningful coverage. This means focusing on their needs first and ours second. 

With a clear understanding of reporters’ needs and preferences, you can begin to approach your pitch from their perspective:

  • Is this story something they’d typically write about?
  • Would you open the email based on the subject line chosen?
  • Is the message personalized and relevant to the journalist?
  • Are you providing insightful data or stats, as well as multimedia assets?
  • Are you offering any exclusive opportunities to visit the property once open, get a preview, or speak to an executive involved in the project?
  • Are you offering an authentic perspective and relatable angle? 
  • Are you leaning on at least one of your core news values (timeliness, impact, prominence, proximity, conflict, or human interest)?

The ultimate measure of a successful pitch hinges on its relevance to the audience, necessitating careful personalization.

Personalize Your Media Pitch

Here’s an alarming fact: lack of personalization is the number one reason journalists reject pitches, according to Muck Rack’s recent State of Journalism survey. While personalization goes beyond addressing the writer by the correct name, it’s important to always:

  • Target the right contacts and publications.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with their recent work by having researched.
  • Include context on who you are and your client or brand, including the news value.
  • Tailor to the medium you are pitching — i.e., radio vs. podcasts, contributed content vs. features.

Personalization, down to the angle of your story, is key. Perhaps this one writer would be more inclined to cover your announcement if you approached it from a sustainability angle, while another might be interested in how many local jobs your new property is creating, for instance. 

Gather The Right Media Kit Assets

Sure, your new hotel brand development is an exciting project, but do you have any visuals created and enough information for a writer to produce coverage? High-quality imagery and visuals significantly enhance the likelihood of coverage or inclusion – and we’re not talking about branded photos or marketing flyers. When it comes to photo assets that resonate with writers, here are some key guidelines to follow:

  • Offer a diverse range of imagery (or renderings) to cater to different preferences.
  • Ensure your photos are fresh, recent, and not outdated.
  • Regularly rotate or refresh your image selection, ideally on a quarterly basis.
  • Provide high-resolution images suitable for both print and web, with a variety of landscape and portrait layouts.
  • Consider incorporating videos, as they can greatly enhance engagement.

Avoid sending images or videos as attachments; instead, provide links to easily accessible drives or shared folders such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or a media library platform. Additionally, ensure that image or video files are correctly labeled and clearly communicate how you would like photo credit to be attributed. These practices not only increase your chances of coverage but also earn you brownie points with writers.

Leverage SEO and Trending Topics in Your PR Pitching Strategy

SEO and public relations go together like peanut butter and jelly these days. Crafting a pitch that captures the attention of journalists and resonates with their audience requires a deep understanding of current events, trends, and cultural phenomena. 

To ensure your pitch is relevant and relatable, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest news and trending topics. By aligning your pitch with what’s currently making headlines, you increase the likelihood of grabbing the interest of journalists who are actively seeking timely stories.

  • Offer writers opportunities to dive into local culture or emerging trends.
  • Stay updated on platforms like TikTok and Google to incorporate destination-based SEO keywords that align with current interests. By incorporating destination-based SEO keywords into your pitch, you can optimize its visibility and relevance, ensuring it aligns with current interests and search trends.
  • Embrace pop culture references, such as “Barbie and pink beaches,” to infuse your narrative with a unique and engaging angle.

By following these strategies and continuously adapting your pitch to reflect the ever-evolving media landscape, you can increase your chances of securing coverage and capturing the imagination of both journalists and their readers.

Takeaways

In a crowded media landscape, the art of effective pitching can make all the difference for travel brands seeking to secure impactful press coverage. By adopting a journalist’s mindset, personalizing pitches, and leveraging relevant key messaging, PR professionals can elevate their pitching strategy to new heights. That goes without saying that focusing on cultivating your media relationships and establishing personal connections will only enhance the likelihood of your pitches landing successfully. 

 

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the world of travel PR, we invite you to download our comprehensive “The 2024 Insider’s Playbook to Travel PR” for invaluable insights, strategies, and practical tips to enhance your PR efforts and secure the media coverage your brand deserves. In our latest marketing resource, we cover:

  • More on embracing the journalistic mindset and cultivating long-lasting media relationships
  • Effective pitching tips, including over-pitched story angles and unique travel narratives that will earn the attention of the press
  • Concrete tips and actionable insights to garner consumer coverage for your travel brand
  • How to harmonize marketing and PR efforts for maximum impact
  • Best ways to work effectively with your PR team and/or external agency
  • What measuring success and PR results in 2024 looks like
 


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