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BITW 008: How to Pitch a PR Director with Robert Arends from the San Diego Tourism Authority

Robert at Fonts Point Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Robert at Fonts Point Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Robert Arends is the Public Relations Manager at the San Diego Tourism Authority (also considered the San Diego Convention and Visitor’s Bureau).  Robert works directly with travel writers and other media to help promote the city of San Diego. Find out his top tips to get invited on a San Diego Familiarization trips (also known as a FAM trip) and how to craft an email subject line to guarantee Robert will open your email immediately.

More About Robert:
Today’s guest has worked at the San Diego Tourism Authority for 13 years and is responsible for promoting and increasing the visibility of the City of San Diego to visitors as a travel, meetings and sports destination. He is responsible for media relations activities including organizing and leading press trips. He also spent four years with J. Walcher Communications, a San Diego Boutique agency specializing in local and regional public relations and strategic PR campaigns. He is a self proclaimed traveler, backyard tourist, photographer, music fan, sci-fi buff and tiki collector.

Join us to hear what Robert Arends has to say on 8th episode of Break Into Travel Writing.

The Finer Details of This Show Include:

  • Robert’s thoughts on the Virgin Atlantic Space Program.
  • How to be a backyard tourist in your home town.
  • The definition of CVB and FAM
  • Why a CVB and Tourism Authority is a writers best friend.
  • A day in the life of the Public Relations Manager at the San Diego Tourism Authority.
  • Why Coronado Brewing Company is Robert’s favorite local San Diego brewery.
  • And loads more!

Robert also shares his insights on how to start a relationship with a CVB PR rep and what they are looking for in coverage from a writer. Some of the main points we discuss are:

  • Connect with email or better yet in person if you live local to the destination.
  • Why print coverage is still important.
  • What a travel writer should do when you see a billboard for a destination in your city.
  • Why you should always ask the CVB PR rep what locations they would like more coverage on.
  • Why a combo of a print outlet, blog and social media is your best bet for landing a media visit.
  • How to impress Robert and guarantee he’ll open your email.
  • Amazing tips for any writer to know before you pitch your next story.
  • What travel conferences to attend to meet Robert and other CVB PR reps.
  • How to use Twitter to reach out to CVB’s.
  • The don’ts of a press trip!
  • How to get invited on a press trip.
  • The difference between an individual media visit and a group trip.
  • The average day for a writer on a San Diego group media visit.
  • How to use Social Media during a media visit.
  • Who is Barbara Beckley and why is she great at creating personal relationships with PR.
  • Who is Jimmy M and why studying his work could make you a better writer.
  • Robert’s tips to break into travel writing.

A Bit of Robert’s Tiki Collection:

Be sure to listen to hear what Robert has to say about what a CVB (convention and visitors bureau) is really looking for from a travel writer and how to get your travel career going. There’s plenty more Robert shares on today’s show on that same subject – and he offers great insights! One of my favorites is, “Go the extra mile as a travel writer covering a location and if you do you can almost guarantee you’ll be first in line for the next media trip.”

Be sure to listen to hear his bonus tips for pitching an PR director including his #1 tip to get your your email opened and responded to. Have a listen to get the inside scoop, and then join me in thanking Robert for being here! And thank you as well.

What Needs to be Explored in San Diego:

  • The Yeti in Borrego Springs.
  • North Park, South Park and uptown neighborhoods.
  • 30th Street microbreweries and restaurants.
  • Craft beer scene.

Episode Resources
San Diego Tourism Authority Website
San Diego Tourism Authority Press page
San Diego Zoo, Legoland and Seaworld
Book Passages
Visit California

Connect with Robert on Social Media:
Robert Arends on Linkedin

Connect with the San Diego Tourism Authority on Social Media:
San Diego Tourism Authority on Facebook
San Diego Tourism Authority on Twitter
San Diego Tourism PR on Twitter
San Diego Tourism Authority on Google+

Connect with Break Into Travel Writing
The Aspiring Travel Writer, the Facebook group

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Podcast 08 interview with Robert Arends

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