Written by: Nancy Pfeiffer, Founder
Adventure Travel Media
Obtaining editorial coverage is the goal of the work of every operator who offers travel. The value of editorial is tremendous as it is seen as a third-party endorsement of your services, whereas advertising is seen as self-gratuitous. Earning positively publicity can be worth hundreds of thousands or more in effective advertising.
Travel Media Value:
To estimate the value of editorial coverage, we use a formula: Take the advertising rate the proposed publication charges and apply that to the size of the article. Multiply by a factor of 5 – 10, which is the value of editorial over advertising.
Southern Living Magazine
Full page, 4-color ad costs $200,000
A two-page article has a value of $400,000 X 5 = $2,000,000.
It is important to remember that even a beautifully written and illustrated article can produce mixed results. While it is important to be seen in the significant travel magazines, such as Travel & Leisure and National Geographic Adventure, small, specialized magazines can create a huge demand for your trips when they are targeted at end-users or consumers who have the ability to book your trips.
To gauge value, use the publication demographics, their ad rate, their circulation numbers and the topic and subject(s) of the article. If it is correctly targeted, it is recommended that you work with them. The subject(s) are defined as the companies included in the article. For instance, a ‘round-up’ article does not have as much value to the participants as does an entire story about your company.
Travel Media: Complimentary Vs. Paid Trips
This is the question on the minds of both the outfitter/tour operator as well as the journalist. There are two schools of thought on this question: a paid trip has no obligation to mention the outfitter favorably, while a writer taking a hosted trip feels obligated to write the story to show the trip provider in a positive light.
Many publications do not allow hosted trips and most freelance writers never pay for a trip they take. It is up to you to screen carefully for those requesting to accompany a trip as a complimentary guest. If you use a media relations firm, such as Adventure Travel Media Source, they maintain a database of journalists and their credentials which will be shared with you. All you have to do is request a search of a particular writer you are considering. You can also check publications for yourself from our resources such as the Bacon’s Guide.
Press Trips for Travel Media
We generally advise clients to include the writer in a regularly scheduled trip so they see what their readers will experience. This is preferable over taking just a departure of writers. Please treat the writer with the same courtesy as your other guests and do not single them out for preferential treatment. If they desire to spend time with you on the trip to interview, ask questions, etc., do so at an inconspicuous time and place.
It is helpful to create press trip policies for those who are planning to invite journalists to accompany their trips.
Any writer accompanying your trip is expected to stay in touch with you after the trip is taken and to provide clips of any and all articles which appear as a result of their trip.
Once the article(s) have appeared, be sure to track resulting activity from this exposure, whether it is inquiries or bookings. This will help you make decisions about future activity.
Whether you engage the services of a professional or you do it in-house, media relations is the most cost-effective and results-oriented marketing a small operator can do to build their business.
Adventure Travel Media is a recognized and widely respected PR and press release service. With an audience of over 5,000 qualified media contacts you can be sure that your press release will be taken seriously and has the best possible chance of being read. Adventure Travel Media employs experienced, professional writers who know and use the accepted formula for writing an effective press release. Travel writers, editors and freelance journalists have learned to trust and use Adventure Travel Media. In the words of a leading active travel writer, “ATMS is the Holy Grail of Adventure Travel Sites”. www.atmstravelnews.com