Travel PRs and Journalists Create Pitch-Perfect Relationships!

Monday October 02, 2017

There was a full house at stately Trinity House London when The Tourism Society working in partnership with TravMedia brought together a top Travel Media Panel at its annual Media Masterclass.  Travel and Tourism PRs gathered to learn from (l to r) Henry Hemming from TravMedia; Will Hide, Travel writer for the Time, FT and other naitonal travel mags; Laura Jackson, Acting Lifestyle Manager at Fabulous Magazine and previously Commissioning Editor at Woman and Woman's Own; Hugh Morris, Travel News Editor at the Telegraph and Jo Fletcher-Cross, Ediotr of ABTA Magazine and Contributing Editor at National Geographic Traveller (UK). 

Top tips shared included the importance of PRs understanding the journalist or brand they are pitching to and to identify what the potential appeal of their story will be.  Hugh Morris suggested that PRs who can suggest a social media strategy on the back of their story are likely to grab an online editor's attention.  Will Hide and Laura Jackson declared "...surveys are dead!" and usually have no weight often being a wrap-around to baseless figures.  They would, however, take notice of a petition - with the proviso that the PR really understood the issue. 

All the panelists agreed that pictures were a strong asset, not least because good, rights-free pictures are few and far between.  Laura Jackson made a plea for a good range of photos of the same object i.e. the same view taken at different times of day and over a range of seasons and presented in different sizes.  She lamented the quality of photographs from some emerging destinations which makes covering them difficult.  

In the debate between the effectiveness of journalists vs bloggers there was a recognition of a divided skills set which is gradually merging.  And in answer to the question of "Has the Press Release seen its day" Jo Fletcher-Cross delighted the word-smiths in room by saying she still keeps and files interesting releases as her go-to reference kit. 

For a PR's view of the evening read this review by Abode PR's Joanna Palmer.

The 2017 Tourism Society Media Masterclass was presented in partnership with