All Posts in Category: Press Trips
The Answer to the Perennial Travel Writer Question: How Can I Pitch This Hotel/Museum/Restaurant That’s Already Been Open for Years?
When you start planning a trip on your own or first get the bug of a press trip in your ear, the options of what to explore in a destination are tantalizing.
Nailing down the sense of place, honing in on the food culture in a new place, and the promise of highly quotable sources with exciting stories you would have never thought of all give you a high.
But we all know trips, attractions, interviews, hotels, and meals don’t always live up to our imaginings. Sadly!
Some parts of a trip will be brilliant and bring those great quotes and anecdotes and new story ideas you never would have had at home, but what do you do with the rest of it?
How do you get the best assignment-dollar-worth out of your on the ground research time?
This week, we’ve got a special webinar double header week since I was out with the flu last week, and we’re also doing a very different mini-series.
We’ve looked in the past at a lot of facets of free travel that are specific to travel writers:
- Setting Up Sponsored Travel 101: How free travel really works for travel writers.
- How to Set Up an Individual Trip From Scratch: The ne plus ultra of press trips are the ones you design yourself.
- Getting a Spot on a Group Press Trip or Fam: Cracking the code for getting offers and acceptances for scheduled group press trips.
- Putting Together a Pitch Portfolio to Support a Big Trip: The simple secret to landing a spot on any press trip you’re interested in.
- What to Expect on Press Trips: What you can realistically expect from your press trips–the good and the bad.
- How to Prepare for Your Press Trip: What you get out of a press trip depends largely on what you put in.
- How to Get the Most (on the Ground) Out of Your Press Trips: Getting on a free trip is the easiest part. Leaving with saleable ideas is the real challenge.
But this week we’re talking about a totally different way to travel for free: trips you book yourself…but don’t pay for.
That’s the real dream, right?
After our webinar last week on how to lay the groundwork before your press trips to make sure you’re prepared to get the most article research for the most stories done when you’re in the destination, I received an unusual email.
A writer that I know that has attended our weekend Pitchapalooza retreat in the past wrote me with the subject line “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.”
In the first webinar in our series on conducting interviews that take your stories to the next level, I talked about the very first interview that I ever did for my first blog with the editor of mega food website Epicurious.
At the time, to prepare for the interview, I read articles on tons of general journalism websites about how to prepare interview questions, and I dutifully wrote, re-wrote, re-worded, scraped, re-wrote, and re-worded all of my questions until I was sure I had the perfect set.
But when I was doing the actual interview, it lacked energy, connection, and opportunities to get great quotes because I was so focused on my prepared questions.
Pitching is pitching is pitching.
If you know how to pitch, you can get magazine assignments, secure spots on press trips and land gigs writing blogs for company whether you’re battling the hordes flocking to respond to an online job ad or blazing a trail and cold emailing a tour company owner you’ve never met who isn’t technically in the market for a writer.
If you can nail one you can nail them all?
One year when I had not been a full-time freelance travel writer for too many years, I was in Europe to attend a conference and had left some time open after the event hoping to get myself set up on a trip somewhere fabulous.
Writers love to talk about “finding a good home” for a story. As if the story, or the idea that pre-dates it, is a child you are putting up for adoption, and you’ll only let go of it if you know its new mother and father will take better care of it than you ever could.