Expert tips: How to pitch for press trips like a pro

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At the beginning of the year we asked if there were any areas of blogging you would like some assistance with. Help in securing press trips and creating a media kit were the two areas requested by many of you so we hope you will find this guide handy!  We’ve asked established travel bloggers and travel PR’s to share their tried and tested tips for securing press trips with travel companies and tourist boards.  The tips below include information needed in media kits, the research required prior to pitching to ensure a good match with travel brands and strategies you can use in a pitch to prove you can provide a good ROI. 

Pitching tips by established bloggers

Chloe from Wanderlust Chloe uses past campaigns as examples to help secure future press trips – “The way I pitch hasn’t changed much in the last three years I’ve been blogging, but my content has improved a great deal. While I still pitch to brands offering my coverage in exchange for trips or payment, I now include case studies from past campaigns. This will show the final content, video, social media and campaign engagement. I think it’s important to show exactly what they could expect if they invited you, and just saying you have x number of followers simply isn’t enough”.

Macca from An Adventurous World highlights the importance of first impressions and being professional – “When it comes to pitching for press trips, I always try to be as professional as possible with my approach, detailing specifically why I want to go on the trip and why I’d be a good fit. I actually have two media packs – one with top-level stats and figures to showcase what I’m all about, and a more detailed version of that. If accepted, I always detail what deliverables the client will get, and then after the trip follow this up with a list of all coverage and engagement”. 
Emma from South West Reviews recommends not taking knock backs personally – “You need a thick skin as a blogger. If a pitch gets declined you need to just move swiftly on, do your research find another travel company you would like to work with and put forward a professional pitch. If several pitches fail, reexamine the content and try to work out where you are going wrong.  A good pitch needs to include specific details, not just numbers. Audience demographic – who are they, how old are they, why do they read your blog?  Traffic sources – where are your readers coming from and why? Reach, awards and follower counts. Your USP – What makes you different from other bloggers? What can you offer the brand that another blogger can’t? And most importantly you need to remember that this is a business transaction. You’re not asking for something for free. State what you are asking for (avoid the word ‘free’) and state what the brand will get in return. For example, in exchange for a hotel stay for two nights for a family of four you might offer x number of blog posts, x number of posts on instagram/facebook/Twitter, x number of pins and possibly a video?  You also need to be transparent with fees. How much are you charging? Is this fee negotiable and what are your payment terms? If you’re not charging fees, do you expect expenses to be covered?  Fundamentally the brand you are pitching need to know what you are asking for, what costs are involved for them what return on investment they can expect”.
Over on my blog Travel Loving Family I’ve found that timing is also key when pitching for press trips.  I avoid pitching on a Monday as I know that my contacts are likely to be busy catching up from a couple of days away. I also avoid Friday’s as I don’t want my email (which will have taken a considerable time to put together) to be missed in the frenzy before they finish for the weekend.  I like to pitch ideally Tuesday or Wednesday and always chase my emails with a quick and polite follow up a few days later.  I usually get a response to my follow up, even if its just a quick line saying they have been busy and will be in touch soon, I like to reply to this email and ask if they would prefer to chat through a collaboration at a convenient time and forward on my telephone number.
tips for securing press trips

Pitching tips from a PR’s point of view 

Jess from Weekend Tourist shares her expert tips for pitching from a PR’s point of view and reminds us that your press trip pitch has to stand out from hundreds of other emails in an inbox! – “I work on both sides of the fence. I’m a full-time PR and travel blogger on the side. Here’s what I love when I get a pitch… You have to remember that if you are pitching to a PR, there is in all likelihood, many people who have to approve a collaboration between a brand and a blogger. I have to sell the idea up the chain of command as much as you have to sell the collaboration to me – I might need to get buy-in from an account director, a brand owner, HR, hospitality, corporate comms! Providing as much information as you can – what you will provide, how much it will cost, what outcomes you expect – from the off makes my life easier when it comes to selling an idea to my fellow PRs”.

She reminds us that proving you have great interaction on your social media channels and blog is key  – “There is a big push in the PR industry for our campaigns to be measured and evaluated by outcomes not outputs, so I’m not just looking for a review or a blog post, I’m looking for how many people will interact with that post. You needn’t have vast numbers of followers, equally a small niche audience is often as attractive so smaller bloggers shouldn’t be put off pitching but be realistic in what you’d like in return. For example, my blog is about discovering best of North Cotswolds (and when annual leave adds up far flung places). I know that a 5* hotel in London might not necessarily benefit from a review on my blog (my followers live in Chipping Norton), on the other hand, I have had success negotiating a press rate for somewhere I’d like to stay”.

Jess’s closing tip is one well worth taking into consideration – “Think about are the other services you can provide. I’m a PR; I’m managing the blogger outreach, the social media channels, media relations, the snapchat feed – I need ALOT of content. Can you provide me with high-quality photos in return for that stay in a 5* hotel you’d like in addition to a blog post/vlog?”

Missed our past posts featuring press trip tips?  Check out…

How to win press trips for your blog

Press Trip Etiquette

How to Move Your Blog from Press Trip to Paid Campaign

Case studies: Successful Travel Brand & Family Travel Blogger Campaigns

Any further questions re: pitching for press trips or media packs?  Pop your questions below, we are happy to help. 

Lisa Jane

Lisa is Editor of Trips100 and Travel Loving Family (travellovingfamily.com). Her family travel blog shares travel tips, holiday reviews and destination guides from travels around the UK and abroad. Lisa is also Co-Editor of Cruising with Kids (cruisingkids.co.uk). A new website designed for parents looking for cruise reviews, cruise news, tips for cruising, port information and pre-cruise ideas. Lisa has travelled to 80+ countries and has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years.

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