The purpose of this article is to show you how easy it is to connect with PR reps and get your travel writing career started by starting local. With three simple emails I landed three media visits in two days.
I have lived in San Diego for the past three and a half years and I have to confess that up until last week I hadn’t connected directly with the local PR companies working with travel related businesses and destinations. I know it seems like an obvious task that should have been on my to do list from week one of my move, but it wasn’t. We moved to San Diego from Portland. It was a BIG move and my son was nine years old at the time. As you can imagine there was a lot to do to get settled.
The other piece of this puzzle was I had a lot of connections in place from when I lived in Los Angeles and Portland. I had also built up quite a few relationships with PR firms located in other cities that represented many Southern California destinations.
My recent interview with Adam Sawyer got me thinking about the local aspect of travel and I realized I hadn’t jumped into the San Diego travel scene with both feet. So, last week I did two things; I attended a Travel Massive event and made it a point to send out an email to the top three travel and hospitality pr firms located in San Diego.
My email was simple; an introduction, links to a few articles I have written and a request to learn about their travel related clients. I’m going to use Allison PR as my example.
Here is an easy 6 Step Process to Start a Relationship with a Travel PR Company:
Step 1: Visit their website and research the ‘About Us’ page and clients page. Determine that they focus on travel and tourism pr.
If you visit the http://www.allisonpr.com/work/industries/ page and scroll down you’ll see that they cater to food & beverage and travel & tourism clients.
Step 2: While on their website find the verbiage they use and repeat it in the email. Do they refer to clients as “food & beverage” or “restaurant & culinary”? Do they define clients as “hotel & travel” or “travel & tourism”? Use their website verbiage in your email and customize each email you send.
Step 3: Find the best contact. I go for the owner or founder if titles are listed. Otherwise, many pr firms will have a page dedicated to their team and often will list the clients each team member works with.
Step 4: Visit and follow all of their social channels. Take a look at the most recent posts. If appropriate like or engage with a few posts.
Step 5: Craft your email. Below is a screen shot of the email I sent. Super short and simple.
The above was one of three emails I sent to local PR companies. I heard back from Allison PR first and the email I received offered me three media visits with their clients; KOA Campgrounds, Warner Bros Studio tour and a visit to Hotel Coral and Marina in Ensenada, Mexico.
So, Annie and I are now finalizing all three media visits. Simple, right? The important thing to remember is that PR companies are your ally. They want to hear from writers and provide coverage for their clients. If you have an outlet and a few clips start developing your relationships with PR companies. If you are still in the “I want to be a travel writer, but don’t know how to start” mode and don’t have your own blog my suggestion is to find a few outlets. My travel website, 52Perfectdays.com accepts submissions from new writers. In fact part of the premise of my site is to be a launching point for people who want to start a travel writing career. Another good option is Dave’s Travel Corner. In fact, in my interview with Dave he explains exactly how to pitch him and what type of articles he is looking for.
Next, think of a few great experiences from your town or city and write an article with a unique spin and email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dave and get your travel writing career started so you can email that first PR company and begin to have your own media trips!
If you are ready to get started on your travel writing career, but feel like you need some assistance with the actual writing aspect, I recommend MatadorU Fundamentals of Travel Writing Course.
Questions? Please comment below and I’ll make sure to respond!