Entries in ‘Blogging’ Journal

Pitching Media and Bloggers in Five Steps

Tuesday October 30, 2012 at 5:05 AM | 3 Comments

"Ryan Vogelsong"

San Francisco Giants Pitcher Ryan Vogelsong shows us how to pitch.

We all know that we should be pitching the media, both print and online, our unique story angles. Yet finding travel bloggers and reaching out to them is often intimidating. 

I’ve put together an outline of five simple steps to contacting the media and bloggers.

I put this presentation together as a speaker for the CA Downtown Association Conference taking place in Sacramento, California. 
If you attended this session, I hope you will heed my call to action by introducing yourself in the comments section below.
"steps"

5 steps to blogger outreach

Five simple steps to blogger outreach:

  1. Research
  2. Social Media
  3. Unique Selling Point
  4. Bloggers Are Different Than Print
  5. Think Outside The Block
1. Research
The most important thing to remember is to target your media. Take the time to read the blog before you send a pitch letter or introduce yourself; it shows us that you have done your homework.
2. Social Media
Connect with bloggers where we live; online. The easiest way to find bloggers is via social media outlets such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to establish relationships with the media.
3. Unique Selling Point
Ask yourself  “What’s different about my destination?” and “Why should a blogger care?”
We receive plenty of e-mails asking us to write about your destination. Look at our blog and how we position ourselves. As a blogger, do we specialize in luxury travel, boomer travel, equestrian travel, accessible travel; what is our niche? Next, dial in and fine tune your pitch to the travel blogger.
4. Bloggers Are Different Than Print Journalists
Bloggers need different tools at their disposal than do traditional print media writers. To keep bloggers happy and productive during FAM or press trips, please schedule some down time into the itinerary for us to write at night.
If you would like us to tweet, use Facebook or post pictures to Pinterest and Instagram during the trip, you’ll need to provide us with free WiFi at the hotel. Ideally, provide a list of your client’s destinations, restaurants and shops on Twitter. We might start talking about your destination before we step out of the car or off the airplane.
"apple iPhone case"

Travel Bloggers need different tools than print journalists.

5. Think Outside The Block

Still not sure how to reach out to travel bloggers? Ask if you can guest post on a blog. Or if that doesn’t sound like something you want to do, just leave a comment on a blog. Try re-tweeting posts by bloggers so they can see that you’re interested in what they have to say. You can also promote useful or interesting blog posts on social media.
These are all easy and inexpensive steps for you to improve the travel blogger’s experience, which, in turn, should create better media coverage for you and/or your client.
What am I forgetting? Please share your insider tips on how to work with media and travel bloggers.
Related Post:
Ryan Vogelsong photo courtesy David Watson. Steps photo courtesy Flickr Carson Ting.

Expedia Hosts Travel Blogger Day in Seattle, WA

Saturday December 17, 2011 at 11:11 AM | 16 Comments

"Expedia Blogger Day"

Expedia Executives Host Blogger Day 2011

Expedia Blogger Day

While I’m not comparing Expedia President Scott Durchslag to Jerry Maguire, the sports agent in the 1996 film played by Tom Cruise, the phrase “help me, help you,” did come to mind during our Monday afternoon meeting at Expedia corporate headquarters this December.  Expedia executives brought together travel bloggers from the US and Canada, as well as Korea and Japan, to discuss Expedia initiatives and open the doors to joint ventures.

“There is an opportunity for the travel industry to be more innovative, really embracing technology,” said Durchslag during a recent PhoCusWright conference moderated by USA Today panelists. Continuing on that theme, Durchslag put his money where his mouth is by flying in bloggers who specialize in travel, social media and technology to open the lines of communication between bloggers and Expedia.

Durchslag, a world traveler and mountain climber, believes that, “travel is transformational. I’m a traveler first,” noted Expedia’s president. During our meeting, Durchslag outlined a five point plan:

*building a new booking engine

*providing a mobile experience

*adding a social element for travelers to share reviews

*creating a “place market”

*introducing a program that rewards loyalty

The future of travel is web 3.0 and web 3.0 is all about the power of place,” noted Durchslag.

"Expedia Scott Durchslag"

Expedia President Scott Durchslag shares his five point plan with travel bloggers

Adding the social element to travel

Travel blogger Spencer Spellman recently partnered with Expedia to launch a weekly Thursday Twitter chat called #Expchat to engage with the travel consumer. This is one way Expedia is branching out to the travel blogger world. Kim Mance appeared in a video for Expedia on the company’s Facebook page announcing their offers with Groupon. As I offer “Insider Tips” on this “What a Trip” blog,   I hope to partner with Expedia to promote their activities offered online. In fact, it wasn’t until I booked my airfare and hotel to Seattle, via Expedia, that I became aware that the world’s largest online travel agency even offered activities.

Kim Mance – A Message For Expedia’s Facebook Fans!

"Expedia"

Travel writers and bloggers visit Expedia headquarters in Bellevue, Washington

Travel companies slow to embrace bloggers

I am excited to see Expedia’s enthusiasm toward travel bloggers, but I’m not naive in thinking that the travel blogger path is laden with gold. In a Tnooz guest post, Travel Blogger Gary Arndt noted that travel advertisers continue to avoid bloggers. “There are enormous economic potential waiting to be claimed by advertisers, but no one is picking up the ball,” said Arndt. ” I’d like to think that somewhere in a conference room there is a meeting being held where someone is deciding between advertising on blogs vs magazines and newspapers. The reality is, however, blogs aren’t even part of the conversation at this point.”

What’s your take on travel bloggers working with large companies? Will 2012 be the year of the travel blogger?

Expedia Blogger Day 2011 Participants

Justin Bachman, Bloomberg Business Week

Harriet Baskas, Stuck at the Airport

Dave Bouskill & Debra Corbeil, The Planet D

Nancy D. Brown, What a Trip & Writing Horseback – Your Guide to Horseback Riding Vacations

Julia Dimon, Travel Junkie Julia

Johnny Jet, Johnny Jet

Chris Gray Faust, Chris Around the World

George Hobica, Airfare Watchdog

Hitomi Kumasaka, Social Media Labs

Kim Mance, Galavating

Sherry Ott, Otts World

Spencer Spellman, The Traveling Philosopher

Rich Whitaker, Travelllll.com

Article and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.

Related Post:

How to work with travel bloggers

Travel Tips on raveable

2010 What a Trip – Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown Year in Review

Friday December 31, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 11 Comments

Norway, Sami, Dolls, Nancy D. Brown, travel

Norwegian Sami Dolls on a trip to Bergen, Norway

Whenever I’m asked what I do for a living, the title of travel writer elicits responses of envy. It’s true, I have one of the best jobs in the world. However,  travel writing does require hard work, plenty of research and writing and endless amounts of time spent at airports waiting for flights.

For those who hope to follow in my travel writing flight path, I wish you smooth sailing, be it over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge in a Zeppelin or on the Hurtigruten discovering Norway’s authentic West Coast.

To my newspaper, magazine and on-line readers, my continued thanks for subscribing to the Contra Costa Times, Diablo magazine and this What a Trip blog.

2010 Travel Writer Year in Review – What a Trip

January: The cowboys and cowgirls of Kay El Bar Ranch invited me to launch Writinghorseback at their ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona. I couldn’t have started this horseback riding vacation blog without the support of Trisha Miller of Travel Writers Exchange. Trisha was kind enough to feature me in her travel blogger case studies.  Additionally, I look forward to miles and aisle of new food trends at San Francisco’s annual Fancy Food Show.

February: I was looking forward to my first visit to Yellowstone National Park via Cody, Wyoming. However, a torn rotator cuff on my husband’s left shoulder left me playing Nurse Nancy.

March: Anyone who knows me is aware of my keen fondness for Alaska. I was thrilled when the PR gurus behind Travel Alaska invited me to cover the 2010 Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  Thanks also goes to Karen Lundquist of Fairbanks CVB for arranging my Alaska lodging, travel gear and visits to Chena Hot Springs and the World Ice Art Championships. I think the sled dog ride was a highlight of my 2010 travel experiences! That’s not to say I didn’t have a wonderful trip my first time visiting Ojai, California.

April: For the horse lovers out there, my visit to Graham, Texas and Wildcatter Ranch was my first encounter with Long Horn cattle and horseback riding by the Brazos River. Steak lovers will love this place!

Surfboards in Oahu, Hawaii

May: The Netherlands invited me to visit Holland during a cold snap in early May. This was my first trip to Brussels,  Bruges and Ghent in Belgium, as well as The Hauge, Zeeland and Zeil in the Netherlands. If you plan your trip for early May, be sure to catch the Holy Blood Procession in Bruges – it is quite a visual and auditory treat for the senses with its floats, costumes and music.

Have you heard of the No Hoku Hanohano Awards? I was a guest of the Hawaii Tourism Authority for a culture-focused trip to Honolulu. There is plenty to do on Oahu, including the Prince Lot Hula Festival.

June: I love meeting CVB and PR people on Twitter. One of these social media pros is Lisa Gerber of Big Leap Creative. Gerber hooked me up with a Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho adventure, as well as horseback riding at Red Horse Mountain Ranch, an all inclusive resort in Harrison, Idaho.

July: Travel bloggers know that we often spend as much time in front of the computer as we do traveling. This July we gathered in the Big Apple for TBEX New York, our annual travel blogger conference. While in New York I asked a group of travel bloggers for their insider tips on things to see and do in New York. Next year TBEX will converge in Vancouver, Canada.

Each year we take a family vacation to Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon. When the kids were young, we traveled as a family of four. Now that we have two teenagers, we travel in multiple vehicles as the kids like to bring friends on our family vacation.  There are many things to do on an outdoor vacation in Oregon.

August: Late summer I went horseback riding in the Sierra Foothills of Copperopolis and then traveled to Half Moon Bay for horseback riding on the beach.

As my father’s side of the family hails from Norway, I was delighted to be a guest of Innovation Norway. In addition to horseback riding on a Fjord horse in Bergen, I was able to visit many Norwegian cities sailing Norway’s authentic coast on the Hurtigruten.

Nancy D. Brown, West Coast Fishing Club, Haida Gwaii, Canada

Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown lands a Chinook with Canada’s West Coast Fishing Club.

September: For the fishermen and women out there, I have a favorite new fishing lodge thanks to a Twitter introduction from Hawksworth Communications in Vancouver, Canada. The West Coast Fishing Club in Canada’s Haida Gwaii offers luxury accommodations, first rate food and excellent halibut and salmon fishing. For those who ask if I ever travel with my husband, it is difficult to coordinate schedules with jobs and teenagers. We were fortunate to celebrate our 24 year wedding anniversary and watch the leaves change colors at Cathedral Mountain Lodge in Yolo National Park and Moraine Lake Lodge in Banff  National Park.

October: Thanks to Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau and the folks at Geiger PR, I was able to go up in a hot air balloon at the International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. What a trip!

Nancy D. Brown, Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico, Travel

Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown about to lift off at International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM

November: Having never visited Hawaii’s Big Island, I was happy to join Jessica Ferracane of Iron Dog Public Relations and the Big Island Visitors Bureau for a trip to the Kohala Coast.

Thanksgiving had me visiting Carmel, California to give thanks with family. I was supposed to go horseback riding with the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, but a scheduling snafu prevented a glorious day of horseback riding on Pebble Beach.

December: Celebrating the holidays in the San Francisco Bay Area and busy working my public relations job at KRT Marketing.

Where will your travels take you in 2011?

Surfboard photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority Joe Solem

Travel Tips on raveable