Uncovering the Benefit of Public Relations for Travel Agents
Written by: Amanda Bailey on April 04, 2017
Whether you realize it or not, Public Relations (PR) is a concept that is probably in your mind every single day. To put it simply, Public Relations is using communication to build positive awareness and interest in your brand. Often times it is far more impactful than paid advertising as it lends credibility to your business if shared by a third party.
As a travel agent, one of your top goals should be showcasing your travel business in a professional, knowledgeable, and friendly manner. On a small scale, you work toward this goal every time you interact with current or prospective clients. While this is effective, it only shows your value to one person at a time.
In order to reach a large audience, you will need to utilize the help of someone who will soon become your new best friend – the media.
One of the top ways to share news with your community and even the travel industry through the media is by drafting a press release. A press release is a written communication directed at the media which provides facts about a story that is newsworthy, timely, relevant, or impactful.
Some possible press release topics for your agency can include: introducing your new business, sharing news of a certification, announcing awards or industry recognition (think Basecamp, Pinnacle, or Crystal Award!), celebrating a company milestone, or participating in a speaking engagement or charitable organization.
If none of those topics fit your business at the moment, take a look at national news and see if there is a possible local tie-in. News outlets are always looking for informative content that is interesting and helpful.
You have an entire collection of travel expertise…why not get your name out there by sharing it with others?
Once you’ve drafted your press release, you’re only halfway there. The next step of distributing is the key to landing placement. You may have the best story, but if you don’t get it into the right hands, your news won’t make it very far.
Local media like newspapers, television stations, and community magazines hold the best chances for your story being featured. You can often find a media contact or editor’s name listed on the news outlet’s website or in the printed version of their publication.
Keep in mind, while you have valuable information to share, it has to make sense for the channel. Before sending a press release to a member of the media, be sure to learn the style and types of stories they commonly feature. Some print publications will post their editorial calendar online, giving you a great way to provide the writer with specific content to help build their article or story.
The first time you email a news pitch, briefly introduce yourself. If you’re lucky enough to find an opportunity to meet a member of the media in-person at an event, jump at the chance! Putting a face to a name can really help make your press release stand out from the countless others that reporters may receive.
If you think you’ve crafted a stellar press release and haven’t heard back, feel free to follow up via email or a quick phone call. Just remember that editors and writers usually have tight deadlines and often work under pressure, so be courteous and never overly aggressive.
Don’t get discouraged if your attempts at gaining media coverage aren’t successful right away. While one press release might not be chosen, it could very well open the door for a guest editorial or interview down the line.
It’s important that you also do your part in sharing your news. Post what you’ve written on your blog then share on social media. You never know who may stumble upon your story!
KHM Travel Group can also help you share your news. If your travel business is highlighted either locally or nationally, let us know. We always love sharing our agents’ success stories!
If you’d like to kickstart your home-based travel agency, KHM Travel Group can provide you with all the tools, resources and technology to ensure your success.
Fill out the form on the right side of the screen or call 888-611-1220 to gain access to our free Travel Agent Information Guide. You’ll be taking the first step towards success as an independent travel agent!