The Media NEEDS YOU!
The media has two choices when it comes to covering the travel industry and lately, they are covering quite a bit! They have two choices.
- Report what they read or are told by others: government, CDC, online publications, sister media outlets, etc.
- Report what they are “pitched” by others. That’s US!
Your local media outlet is interested in what’s happening locally! They (and our industry) need Travel Advisors to help fill in the gaps in what is being reported.
Pitching the media is not an impossible venture for anyone. It’s a combination of pitching the right people, at the right time, with the right information, in the right way - consistently. At Travel Planners International we have dozens of advisors that have successfully pitched local and national media with great success.
A media hit can serve one of two purposes, and it’s essential to understand the difference before you charge ahead.
Sales - Your phone will not start ringing off the hook, nor will sales increase immediately, just because you were on TV or featured in an article. What will increase is your perceived “value” to your audience and potential clients. Think of media as a differentiator.
Vanity is good, but only if you leverage that vanity to show off your expertise. Have a plan to promote your media hit prior, during, and post-interview.
Here are ways to LEVERAGE your coverage
Share on social media: Ask your friends to watch LIVE and share with their friends.
Place their logo on your website: Once you have been featured, you have every right to feature that media’s logo on your website – “As seen on” or “Featured in.”
Add a media page on your website: Call it the “In the Media” page and attach links or video clips for ongoing exposure.
Email List: If you are sending out regular emails to your database, make sure you have an opt-in feature on the front page of your website. When someone sees you on TV, they will look you up, and of course, you want them to want to stay in touch with you.
PITCH THE MEDIA STEP BY STEP GUIDE
Identify Your Ideal Outlets Which outlets want/need what you offer?
List four media outlets that cater to your ideal audience. Think about TV, online, radio, and print publications. Are there specific segments or sections that speak directly to what you offer?
Identify Correct Contacts
Now that you know which media outlets you want to target, it’s time to get specific and find WHO is the right person to send your pitch. There are several ways to find them. Try a few of these.
- Reach out to your local TV station and ask for titles like “Executive Producer,” “Segment Producer,” “Content Editor,” etc.
- Look in the mastheads of print publications. They have the editors listed right there! Many times you can Google their name and find them on LinkedIn or Facebook.
- Search for articles that are relevant to your content and find those contributors who frequently write in your space.
Do Your Research
It’s time to get to know them. Watch their segments on TV, read their articles, post positive comments on their social channels.
Note what type of stories are they covering. Do they have a segment called, “Things families need to know” or “Local Experts Share All.” For local TV, they will be looking for segments about the holidays or special times a year about two weeks in advance.
Read the publications. They layout their publications up to 6 months in advance, so if you want to be quoted about Christmas travel, then introduce yourself in the summertime. Many of these print publications have online blogs. You could be quoted sooner than you think.
The pitch comes after identifying the outlets, so you are truly creating a custom pitch, not a one size fits all. Use that information you found out regarding the name of a specific segment. “This would be perfect for your “Things families need to know” segment.”
TWO TYPES OF PITCHES
- Evergreen – good information to share no matter the time of year.
- Relevant – something has just happened, and they need someone to talk about it. You must act FAST!! Brevity rules.
Craft a short email on why they should feature or interview you. Make it clear that you understand their audience. Make it specific to the outlet and/or segment. And think timely; how can you advance the current conversation now. Talking about something a week later is too late.
Relevancy is king. Remember, you are representing the travel industry – not yourself. Look for travel-related news articles that you can add to the conversation, share insights, dispel untruths, etc.
EXAMPLE: When a cruise line has just announced they have delayed a set of departures.
A delay in departures would be a perfect time to pitch yourself to your local media, talk about travel insurance, refund policies, and should they take advantage of FCC’s now or wait. Read Travel Weekly, ASTA, Travel Market Report, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, or even Facebook to stay on top of what’s happening right now.
The best way to send a pitch is via email.
THIS IS NOT A PRESS RELEASE and NO ATTACHMENTS!
FOUR STEP PITCH EMAIL FORMAT.
Step 1: Know your premise – what’s happening right now, that would make this timely? Is it an event, time of year, a new law, etc.?
Step 2: Craft an eye-catching subject line – try to keep it to 5-7 words. Think about the headlines you see in the newspaper, on blogs, or teasers on TV. They are catchy and a little mysterious.
Step 3: Opening sentence – introduce your premise and why you are pitching them. Step 4: Your points – 3 talking points are all you need.
Step 4: Why you – a very brief intro of you and a link to your website, Linkedin profile, or wherever you feel has the best representation of you. They could research you.
Subject Line: What? People are still actively booking travel! YES!
Hi, (NAME OF CONTACT if available),
You have been covering the travel industry heavily for the past few months and what this means to your viewers and our economy.
Every day, I receive this question from my clients, family, and friends, “are people still booking travel?” The answer is YES! People are still booking travel; however, it’s a different kind of travel.
It occurred to me that your audience may want some guidance and idea of what alternative travel plans are popular right now. And how do you know what’s best? I am available to share insights with your audience around this topic.
Things we can cover together include, but aren’t limited to the following:
- What type of travel are people booking?
- Where are they going?
- If they need to rebook a previously cancelled trip, when is the best time to do this?
I own a travel agency in (NAME OF YOUR CITY) and stay on top of all things travel-related and feel comfortable speaking freely in an interview format.
Feel free to reach out to me directly at (include your phone and email)
Suzy’s Family Travel
(add any credentials that make sense)
Pitching your local media is easier than you think. It will not only get you in front of your local community, raise your street cred, but most importantly, you will be helping to change the narrative in the industry we are all so passionate!
Ok, YOU TRY IT!!!
Craft a pitch and post on our Fiercely Forward Facebook Group to help inspire your fellow Advisors. We’ll pop in and give you feedback as well. Feel free to invite your advisor colleagues to opt-in for this download, and we’ll send them these ideas as well.
Let’s keep moving #FiercelyForward.
Oh, because you read this whole post, you’ve just earned a FREE 15-minute Power Session with VP Industry Engagement and Support, Jenn Lee. Let’s talk about your business – marketing challenges, sales questions…or if you’d like to know more about pitching the media. CLICK HERE and find time on Jenn’s calendar!