One of the trickiest jobs in consumer travel PR is creating a press trip that strikes a happy balance between what the client wants and what the writer needs.
A well-planned, well-executed itinerary can reap great coverage, brilliant social-media exposure, and even brand advocacy. What’s more, it builds trust in our ability as media relations professionals to deliver the right goods, often spelling the beginning of a beautiful relationship, to the benefit of all parties.
Having been a travel writer for more than 15 years, I’ve been on a lot of press trips. Some have been fantastic, not only enabling me to get the best material for an article, but also triggering more ideas – and coverage. Yet, too many have been poorly organised, some so badly that they’ve made me reluctant to work with certain PR agencies again.
Here’s our checklist for creating a great press trip:
Ideas, ideas, ideas: Good writers appreciate good research – they’ll do their own, but they’ll value anything interesting you can unearth, too. New and interesting are the watchwords.
Fill the days…: Gaping holes in an itinerary are just one big yawn. Not that the writer will feel rested, they’ll be getting jumpy about whether they’ve got enough material for their story.
…But don’t fill every waking hour: Have we ticked off the client’s priorities and fulfilled the writer’s requests? Great. But have we also given the writer enough free time? Let them have space to soak up the atmosphere and pursue their own ideas.
Put it in writing: A clear itinerary, reviewed by the client and journalist before departure, keeps everyone on track and is a useful aide memoire during the assignment.