5 Pitching Tips from the Travel Media in a COVID-19 World
As the travel and tourism industry gradually recovers from COVID-19, communications need to be relevant and forward-looking. Over the past few months, PR Newswire has distributed numerous press releases on the recovery efforts of the travel industry, from campaigns to boost hygiene standards in hotels and tourist destinations, brand partnerships to virtual travel experiences.
As travel restrictions ease at varying degrees across the APAC region, travel businesses have to adapt their key messages along different stages of recovery. Securing media coverage plays a key role for businesses to amplify their key messages to target audiences throughout the various stages.
To help businesses connect with the media and position their stories, we’ve launched our 2020 Travel Media Pitching Kit, which compiles pitching tips and industry insights from 28 travel journalists and influencers in APAC. They come from 9 markets: Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. The media also shares advice for PR pros on the types of press releases and stories that would interest them in light of the pandemic, this year’s travel trends and more.
We highlight 5 tips from the travel media on how PR pros can pitch their stories effectively in a COVID-19 world.
1. Pitch stories with a positive outlook
“In addition to the usual marketing messaging, it is worth pitching positive stories about how their organization are taking care of their internal community – staff, vendors and business partners – whose life and sense of job security have no doubt been impacted by the business fallout, as well as external communities, such as medical professionals.”
– Karen Yue, Group Editor, TTG Asia Media
2. Continue building close relationships with the media and keep them updated on industry developments and business activities
“With the recent limitations of business mobility, the media demands more business updates from PR professionals. This is the time you can focus on building relationships with the media, so when this pandemic is over, they can still remember your brand and message.”
– Bayu Hari, Editor-in-Chief, Venue Magazine
3. Be realistic and provide information that is timely and relevant to the developing travel situation
“I do not want to be receiving press releases for overseas companies and countries encouraging people to visit and “keep the dream alive”. For those countries saying they are opening for travel, it is giving false hopes to countries that are being realistic about the situation and causing massive confusion in the consumer market.
For my publications, I am not looking at anything to do with travelling to destinations outside of Australia currently. My content plans have changed to 4 phases:
- Australia travel inspiration content on deals, news, tips, etc
- When the Trans-Tasman bubble is closer to launch, I will add New Zealand to it
- When the Pacific bubble is introduced, I will add Pacific content
- When international travel resumes, I will look at international destinations.”
– Kate Webster, Managing Director, Captured Travel Media
4. Focus on activities and promotions that are related to domestic tourism as international travel restrictions loom ahead
“I believe that the demand for overseas vacations will be transferred to the domestic market – people would prefer visiting places much closer to home, such as going on road trips and camping. When tourism to neighboring provinces gradually recovers, destinations with beautiful scenery and fewer tourists will be more popular.”
– Xu Yue, Editor-in-Chief, Travel.ifeng.com
5. Address health and hygiene concerns and the rise of technology as COVID-19 brings about a new normal for traveling
“During this period, cleanliness and safety are the top priorities of travelers. Special safety measures and arrangements need to be clearly listed and emphasized in order to gain their confidence.”
– Amy Chan, CEO and Chief Editor, U Magazine
“Travel platforms are the most important thing that people should pay attention to in Korea’s travel industry this year. Platforms such as Agoda, Booking.com, Expedia, KLOOK and Bemyguest are growing so fast. In Korea, the growth rate of platforms such as Yanolja and My Real Trip is outstanding. I’m excited about new platforms catering to Free Independent Travelers that will be launched this year.”
– Koeun Son, Deputy Chief Editor, Editorial Department, Travel Times
Planning an upcoming campaign? Get our eBook of Post-COVID-19 Communications Strategy that has been specially tailored for the travel and tourism industry.