Kill the Travel Press Release-Tweet It Instead
So i was sitting at a media dinner when I overheard someone from a Canadian tourism office say to her companion that they were thinking of no longer sending travel media releases, but Tweeting them instead.
I was taken aback. An hour previously I had just written this article, so I thought she might have been the angel of affirmation.
But she's right on.
I receive on average 35 travel press releases a day, in one form or another.
And that’s not counting the Viagra or “grow your manhood” notices. Or the abundance of pain killers offered on an hourly basis.
If I were a “druggie,” i could get a fix without a prescription with just a few keystrokes.
The range of travel releases I get is impressive, illustrating that there are interesting things going on out there, from a new chef in some luxury South Carolina hotel, to a new spa in a Malaysian resort.
But the point is unless they're targeted, unless they reflect knowledge about a writer, his or her work, past publications, they're irrelevant to that writer.
Most releases are about 400 words. Some run as high as 800 words and are very text dense.
I use maybe one out of every ten I receive.
Many come with unrequested multiple images attached, or/and several PDF files, which I never open.
Of all the releases in any given period, very few address me by my name. None makes reference to anything I may have written.
Most say, “Good Morning,” or “Hi There.” That bothers me. If you don't know who I am, why bother to sending me a release?
What's worse are the ones labeled: “For Immediate Release.”
What does that mean, “For Immediate Release”?
It’s a hackneyed term that’s been around forever, and should be retired.
Because what’s the opposite of “Immediate Release”? “Delayed Release”?
I’ve actually sent copy back to the sender with the specific suggestion that they read David Meerman Scott’s book, New Rules of Marketing and Public Relations .
Anyone in PR who hasn’t read Scott’s book is really out of touch.
While most of the releases are irrelevant to me, they are, I’m sure, relevant to some blogger or travel writer.
In reality, my story ideas come from the various news and industry feeds that most travel professionals subscribe to. Could be the Huffington Post or Hotelmarketing.com. Often an article in Fast Company will be the source of a piece or USA Today Travel or Travel Weekly.Continued on the next page