Media Pitching Tips in a COVID-19 World from TTG Asia Media’s Group Editor Karen Yue
As the year-end holiday season kicks in, domestic tourism is on the rise in APAC. With global movement restrictions, more people are looking at destinations that are closer to home. The surge of interest in local recreational activities has led to opportunities for brands to pitch relevant products and services.
However, travel journalists and editors tend to scan through numerous press releases and pitches that land in their inboxes daily. One way of cutting through the clutter is having a pitch that is customized to their media outlet and speaks to their audience.
Receiving a standardized pitch is one of the PR pet peeves of Karen Yue, the Group Editor of TTG Asia Media, who manages a stable of B2B travel media publications, such as TTG Asia, which covers the consumer tourism and travel industry, and TTGmice, which reports on the Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing & Exhibitions (MICE) industry. Karen is one of the 28 journalists and influencers whom PR Newswire chat with as part of its COVID-19 Travel Industry Recovery Toolkit.
On how PR pros can build a better relationship with the media, Karen shares that media monitoring is integral. By doing background research on the media outlet and its target audience beforehand, they can craft a story angle that is customized and become a better fit for its readership. The veteran travel editor shares more tips and advice on pitching travel-related news in this interview.
How do you prefer to receive press materials?
Emails and a follow-up phone call.
What is your advice for PR professionals who are trying to pitch you?
Be familiar with my titles – the sections within the print and online product as well as the profile of my readers. Use this knowledge to create a unique angle that my readers can benefit from.
Do you have any pet peeves when working with PR professionals?
PR practitioners who mass distribute press releases along with a message for editors to inform them when the material is published, and to provide a link to the published piece. Whatever happened to good old media monitoring? But more importantly, does the pride one gets from co-creating a unique news piece with the editor no longer exists?
What is the most challenging aspect of covering the travel industry?
So many travel trade events to cover, so little time! And I’m talking about just the Asia-Pacific region.
Each TTG Asia Media title serves a specific segment of travel trade professionals. TTG Asia, for example, is built for travel agents first and foremost, followed by all professionals in the leisure tourism space. TTGmice is built for business event planners and corporate travel managers, while TTGassociations directs content to association executives and association meeting planners. With such diverse areas of focus, we have an interest in many trade events but have to be prudent in where we invest our reporting resources.
What upcoming launches/events/updates are you most excited about?
Studies that can birth insightful analysis pieces and one-on-one deep-dive interviews are first and foremost on my list, followed by major tourism developments that will uplift the destination’s economy or the local community in non-financial ways.
What are some travel trends for 2020?
Greater pressure on tourism suppliers to be truly sustainable, beyond the elimination of plastic straws and plastic water bottles. Sustainability comes in a wide range of practices, from supporting and uplifting local communities, reducing carbon footprint and waste, investing in diverse staff to providing proper career pathing. People want to know that the money they spend is going to truly deserving commercial entities. In light of COVID-19, many governments have advised postponing non-essential travel.
What advice do you have for PR professionals during this period?
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.
Download the COVID-19 Travel Recovery Toolkit to chart out your comms plan and get travel media pitching tips with this toolkit that is tailored for PR pros in the travel and tourism industry.