Be sure to read: How to Get Invited on Press Trips before reading this post.
Yesterday, I touched on a few items that 7 Things Bloggers Need from You on Press Trips. First, Today, I’ll focus on what destinations need from bloggers, in order for this relationship to work. If you want to be taken seriously by a destination, then there are a few things you can do to help the destination work with you:
1. Introduce yourself. You may think you are the most well-known blogger in the world, but I hate to tell you, not everyone has heard of you. When reaching out to a destination, send them a media kit, or at least a one paragraph background of who you are, where you’ve been published, and what they might get out of hosting you. Be sure to include pertinent information such as your Twitter account (with follower numbers), Facebook Page (with fan numbers), website monthly traffic, and all that jazz.
2. Don’t demand things. I consistently hear from destination representatives that bloggers contact them and demand transportation, lodging, meals, attraction passes, and money to cover a destination. And they want to bring along their five kids and a set of grandparents. Really? If you are looking for story assistance, ask in a nice way. Press trips are not free family vacations, they are research trips.
3. Be on time. If a destination has taken the time to put together an itinerary for you, and you haven’t objected to anything in advanced, then make sure you show up. On time.
4. Don’t be a sponge. Just because a destination is offering to host you, doesn’t mean you forget your manners and not even leave a tip for the waitress who served you your comped meal. Destination reps will find out, and they will tell others in their industry about you.
5. Fact check. Before hitting publish on your blog post, it might be a good idea to fact check on addresses, websites, operation hours, and admission prices. It doesn’t help anyone when you post wrong information. I don’t always send articles to reps for fact checking, but if I’m in doubt, I do ask for verification on certain items.
6. Provide statistics and links. Not all destinations have large budgets. It’s usually one or two people in an office doing everything for the destination, not just dealing with bloggers. When you’ve returned from your trip, send the representative links to your posts, along with a list of tweets, flickr images, videos on YouTube, and any stats you are comfortable providing. This aids the representative in providing a return on investment (ROI) to their higher-ups with hosting future bloggers.
7. Be Flexible. Sometimes, you will be turned away and it isn’t because the destination doesn’t like you. You may have asked for crazy dates to be hosted or it just wasn’t meant to be. Be gracious when you are denied and ask to be placed on a media list for future press trip consideration.
Of course, there are so many other things that could be added to this list. If you think I’ve left out anything important, please feel free to leave it in the comments.
Here’s a big tip: It never hurts to buy a Thank You cocktail for the destination representative.