Travel – standing out in a crowded market
29/11/2013 02:19 PM
Travel, Travel, Travel – I love it. I’m the most renowned traveler of my friends, colleagues, peers and family and having worked in the industry for many years it’s easy to get addicted.
However making an impact as a travel business is not a straight forward journey. You’re competing against thousands of holiday destinations from Bournemouth to The Cotswolds, Brazil to Suriname; you’re up against travel agents and tour operators, excursions, escapes and experiences, online travel agents and member websites, plus all the gadgets, gizmos, and gear that go with traveling.
From a PR perspective most publications offer just a couple of travel pages, and often to a destination, and national press have their travel supplements. It really does limit your PR options. To stand out in the crowded travel market you really need to do something spectacular and that really means thinking off the beaten path.
Gain genuine consumer media interest and you can ditch the supplements and travel features and work your way through the main sections of your target publications. And to achieve this you need to look way beyond your product, instead at the 1) experience you offer 2) the way you operate 3) who you work with and 4) who’s behind the company.
Find those special stories that make you stand out as a business, but also look at your core values and discover how you can represent these through experiential PR and events, partnerships and endorsements. When budgets are tight, always look to business partners and associates for support – working in collaboration can really help the budgets go further; and could deliver an exciting prospect to the consumer press.
HOW TO – tackle the media
Connect with the audience, appeal to the travelers you want most, and deliver the brand you want them to experience when they are visiting your destination. Help them breath, smell, and visualise where their travels will take them.
Travel businesses (Tour Operators/Travel Agents)
Demonstrate how you do things differently, communicate the experience, get your timing right when communicating to the media to optimise your sales performance across national and consumer press.
Online travel businesses
Keep the momentum going, be innovative with promotions, products, visuals and especially social media. It’s innovative and engaging content that will help you gain attention, even from the most skeptical journalists.
Timings for great travel exposure:
October – January:
It’s all about: summer holidays, weekend breaks/short trips, bargain deals, inspiration, winter vs summer.
Between Christmas and New Year the travel sales are in full swing and people plan and start booking their vacations for the next year. Take advantage of this time and make sure you’re as visible as you can be. If Boxing Day, 26thDecember, is the most popular day for travel search you need to start at least two months before, just so you can feature in the Christmas issues of glossy magazines. Drive your PR campaign throughout January and you are likely to pick-up a lot of traffic, especially as Europe is dull, grey and cold and people are keen to plan a warm getaway.
February – April:
It’s all about: early summer breaks, executive travel/non families.
Those families looking to budget and strapped for cash may have already booked their one holiday vacation a year, but you now have the chance to target the slightly more wealthy – those looking to do something different, which means you can avoid everything that was covered between October and January. It’s time to market for Easter, and appeal to the No Kids market with vacations before the schools break-up.
May – July:
It’s all about: Last minute breaks, kids’ holidays, quick escapes.
We’re back to the bargain hunters and families who are finally making up their mind for their summer vacation. On the other side you have the ‘power-couples no kids’ who want quick weekend escapes. This is your last chance to maximise the summer and get in those last minute bookings.
August – September:
It’s all about: Executive/non families, quick breaks, Christmas, the following summer.
More families are traveling at Christmas so do target this market, although on the whole it will be quiet for families. Instead remember the high-disposable income couples that want a quick break in the autumn and winter when other people’s children are at school. It’s also a chance to sell special offers for the end of Summer. Finally, incredibly budget conscious families will be looking towards next year’s vacation so they have a year to save – time to inspire them.
By Ryan C Haynes, travel media PR specialist...Click here to read more
Everything you wanted to know about SIX
16/09/2013 02:59 PM
It’s been an amazing year - working internationally, helping start-ups become well-known, working with established brands to redefine their image and dominating the press across travel, technology, professional services and finance. We've been fortunate to be in a position to help shine some light on organisations whose innovation and flare deserves the attention. But it's the long shadows that they cast that have been most rewarding to be part of - whether it's bringing solar power to the developing world, influencing design or improving driving safety.
And, as we’re all glowing with birthday spirit, it’s time to open Wordville’s PR Surgery. Let the ribbons be cut and the orange squash be quaffed; the health of your PR can only get even better.
PR ER – If you’ve got a question you want an answer to and you need it quick, then drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org– our PR agony aunts and uncles are standing by to give you a free response to ‘who should I contact?’, ‘what’s the press day for that magazine?’, ‘why doesn’t the feature editor love me anymore?’
A Second Opinion? – You may be in the middle of an on-going PR campaign or reviewing your first draft marketing plan for the year ahead – we can offer another expert view. We won’t charge you but will offer our opinion on the approach, the timings and the targets.
Reputational Therapy – And if things have gone a little more pear-shaped then we’re sympathetic. If you want to speak to a communication specialist who knows that the rough can come with the smooth, then drop in for tea and sympathy – and a plan for how to improve the word on the street if it’s not what you need it to be.
We’re only keeping Wordville’s Surgery open for our birthday month – it’s not that we don’t care but we’ve got work to do. So get in touch and pick our brains this month.
Birthday greetings and thanks to all for your support this year.
...Click here to read more
16/08/2013 12:17 PM
This morning, I was browsing the news online and came across a link to an interesting feature about unusual ways businesses have innovated. Naturally intrigued, I clicked on the link, patiently waiting the 2-3 seconds it takes for my computer to load a page. However, after my wait, I am not met with my most innovative businesses feature. Instead, my screen turns a transparent blue and I am met with a picture of an animated plane zooming across a page. What is this? I can vaguely make out my article behind it, so I search around the plane, which is now making a chugging sound and omitting several puffs of (hopefully eco-friendly) smoke, for an ‘X’.
No ‘X’ in sight. I try to avoid the plane, thinking that if I click on a blue area behind it, it might disappear. But the plane seems to be one step ahead of me; as I move my mouse, it mirrors my movements. There appears to be no escape from this thing.
What does it even want? Why won’t it go away?
After about a minute of trying to dodge this plane, I finally succumbed to what it obviously wanted me to do – I clicked on it. Perhaps if I did this, it would go away. Within nanoseconds, another webpage appeared. I don’t even know what it was about as I was so annoyed I immediately shut the page. But whoever it was that sent that little plane to harass me perhaps got what they wanted – a click through to their website. Even if it was done just to get rid of that damn plane.
It made me wonder how many unscrupulous websites build up their “unique visitor” numbers through tactics like this. Pop-up ads and links are becoming increasingly common and often they are designed to make you click on them in error (when they keep following your mouse around) rather than creating engaging content that people actually want to read.
I admit I don’t know much about click-through rates and advertising, but I can have a guess that the more unique visitors a website has, the more it can charge companies for advertising space. Perhaps companies with online advertising budgets are already onto this; many of them no doubt have teams trained to source potential ad spaces that will offer a genuine, targeted audience – one where the average website visiting time is more than 0.001 seconds. But for those companies that are choosing an online space for their adverts based on unique visitors alone – beware.
By Jess Matthias...Click here to read more
Being happy can make you sad
09/08/2013 10:11 AM
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Recent research from the US has shown that being happy can be harmful. Something you can probably relate to if you’re tucking into a big piece of chocolate cake. Right now.
But apparently watching a video of a cute cat can also have the same outcome.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina and UCLA, asked 80 test subjects questions about pleasure (hedonic well-being) and purpose (eudaimonic well-being). Results showed that those who were happy, but had little meaning in their lives showed genetic patterns associated with chronic stress; whereas those who spoke of having meaning in their lives had a less stressful genetic profile.
So this means the happiness you feel when your football team wins the cup, or you find a bargain on ASOS, isn’t good for you in the long run.
As a nation, 81% of us gave ourselves a seven or more out of ten when asked if we felt the things in our lives were worthwhile. But who and what can determine whether a life is worthwhile? Is it a successful career? Growing a family? Or pursuing your passion you always put off for the daily grind?
Albert Einstein once said: “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”.
We live in a world that seems to be obsessed with material things, social networks and celebrities and yet many of us are hungry for happiness. Whilst, as stated earlier, these material things can make you instantly happy – it’s not permanent. Giving something back – whether it’s quality time with loved ones or travelling half way round the world to volunteer in a local community – provides a purpose.
Several brands have picked up on our fascination with happiness and used it to help build stronger connections with consumers. One Chicago-based company, Dream Champs, launched in 2011 with the tagline “Because Life is Too Short to do Work You Hate”. The company helps users identify their values and connect them with like-minded companies through a website and seminar series.
Consumer brands also play a role in creating meaningful experiences through their products and services. Burt’s Bees, the maker of eco-friendly bath and beauty products, is a great example of this. Employees at the company spend up to 30 business hours a year to ‘do good’. Last year, the company closed its North Carolina HQ office so workers could join volunteers to build an eco-friendly playground. And this year, Burt’s Bees donated 400 pairs of jeans to charity Habitat for Humanity, which repurposed them to insulate new homes.
TOMS is also another inspiring example of philanthropy. For every pair of shoes you buy, the company donates a pair of new shoes to a deserving child. They find communities that will benefit most from receiving the shoes and where local businesses won’t be negatively affected. It’s the small things like these that have the biggest impact.
So the next time you want that chocolate cake, maybe offer it to someone else...
By Stephanie Rock
...Click here to read more