What PR Companies Really Want from Blogger Travel Reviews

20 Aug What PR Companies Really Want from Blogger Travel Reviews

Imagine that you’ve successfully landed a travel review for a girlfriend’s weekend getaway. Your crew gets two complimentary nights at a hotel, a complimentary dinner and full access to the amenities. Sounds like a fabulous trip, right? From your point of view as a blogger, it is! But don’t forget about the hotel’s marketing team or public relations company you worked with to secure your stay. We asked for insight from public relations professionals in the travel industry to see what they really want from blogger travel reviews. If you’ve ever wondered if you need to be a “big blogger” to get a travel opportunity – keep reading!

What PR Companies Really Want from Blogger Travel Reviews

Travel Experts

We talked to experts who get pitches and send pitches for travel reviews. They have very revealing perspectives on the future of hotels and bloggers working together.

Amy Wisenbaker is the marketing and social media coordinator for the Jekyll Island Club Hotel in Georgia.

Leigh Court handles public relations for several inns and hotels in Georgia, Florida and New Jersey where she often coordinates tours for writers.

Caroline Eubanks heads the Atlanta chapter of Travel Massive, a collaborative network of travel writers and insiders. She’s also a travel contributor for several sites.

 

Blogger Travel Collage

Reach & Social Numbers

How much does a blogger’s reach and influence matter when pitching a travel review?

Amy Wisenbaker: “I’ve noticed that bloggers typically don’t always have the best social media following on all platforms, but maybe have a decent Instagram or receive a lot of engagement on the actual blog itself. Numbers aren’t vital to me when reviewing the request, but instead I prefer to look more closely at their style, their intended audience and their follow-through.”

Leigh Court: “It’s rare that we would host a new blogger that doesn’t have significant outreach. However, occasionally I’ve worked with excellent writers who are launching something new and I trust that they will produce excellent copy. I might consider recommending them to my hotel clients and offering a ‘media rate’ ~ so that we can give them a chance to be excellent!”

Comment below: Have you ever been denied for a travel review? Did you ask for or were you offered a discounted media rate for a hotel stay?

RELATED TOPIC: How to Perfectly Pitch a Travel Review for Your Blog

Best Practices & Storytelling

It’s important to remember that you’re telling a story during your review, not just enjoy a complimentary vacation. Be honest. Personalize your story.

Leigh Court: “I notice that during media trips, there are writers who take notes and don’t miss anything. Then there are writers who don’t capture the moment and rely on press materials to write their stories. Give me a great interviewer who takes notes any day.  Many of today’s bloggers don’t know how to listen and pay attention to what they’re experiencing. They talk more than they listen.”

Amy Wisenbaker: “First rule is to always know who your reader is, then tailor the content to them. Or create content that shows the diversity of the property, showing that there is something for everyone instead of something just for “mommy bloggers”, as an example.

Comment below: What kind of stories do you tell while you’re traveling? Do you rely on press releases and provided content to tell your story.

Teenagers Young Team Together Cheerful Concept

Sharing Blogger Content

We’ve heard several bloggers complain that hotels and vacation venues do not share their content. From the blogger’s perspective, it’s a win-win. We asked the travel industry professionals if they share blogger travel reviews.

Leigh Court: “Absolutely yes. My clients and I re-post, re-tweet and continue to share stories once they are created. Results? This is where the richness of online stories proves how beneficial it is in the travel industry today. Each story continues to have a relevancy into the future.”

Amy Wisenbaker: “Yes I do, if it is put together nicely and is easy to share (they posted it on their social media account, so then I can easily re-share). We love for people to hear about a guest’s stay with us.”

Caroline Eubank says content creators should have a plan for creating and sharing their content: “Make it easy on yourself and make an editorial calendar to plan content. I use CoSchedule for content and social media, which allows me to not post about the same destination every day.

Click to tweet: What #PR Companies Really Want from #Blogger Travel Reviews! Read it here: ow.ly/N4Ne303uikQ #bloggertips #Tmom #Travelblogger

What is the future of bloggers and the travel industry?

We like to stay on top of what’s ahead in our industry, so we asked the PR professionals what’s ahead.

Caroline Eubanks: “I think that there will be more and more brand ambassadorships with specifically curated experiences for readers. I think the model is moving away from sponsored posts and link sales.”

Amy Wisenbaker: “Maybe bloggers and travel writers working with specific brands/chains/independently run hotels only.”

RELATED TOPIC: How to Position Your Blog as Your Resume

Blog Resume

 

Comment below: What have you found works best when creating or sharing travel-related content? What do you believe is the key to landing a travel review opportunity?

Joyce Brewer
joyce@mommytalkshow.com

Follow Joyce Brewer on Twitter: @MommyTalkShow. The Emmy award-winning TV journalist video blogs about parenting and family-friendly Atlanta events on MommyTalkShow.com.

2 Comments
  • Rebecca Fry
    Posted at 09:07h, 24 August

    I haven’t done many travel “reviews”, but I tend to like to tell a story about my stay and only add in “press materials” as needed…I try to weave them into the story its self uNess its very specific wording they are wanting. I have been denied for several when reaching out, and had to turn down a few due to timing. It sucks to have to turn down an opp, because I love traveling! Thanks for the insight Joyce!

  • Traveller Soul
    Posted at 15:26h, 29 August

    This is great advice!

    I have been blogging about travel for the past five years and have had the opportunity of brands reaching out to me because of my storytelling and photography skills and not just because of my numbers on social media or monthly views on the blog.

    What I did notice is that even if in a group press trip, the journalists only publish perhaps one or two pieces with a few images and that’s where it ends.

    As for us travel bloggers, we go above and beyond. We update our social media accounts as the trip is underway, we share instant images, videos and we produce a series of posts which can last to a year!

    I believe we provide great value, professional work and if the client or the DMO is happy, then we did our part.

    I have also been turned down because PR responsible does not trust that we’ll produce great content or reach millions. They should look at the record of the blogger and not just the numbers.

    I do hope that more and more opportunities are presented now and in the future 🙂