Destination Marketing – Passport Travel Marketing & PR #023

Interview with Ajay Date from Tourism Portland about Destination Marketing.

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Ajay Date is Vice President of Marketing for Travel Portland where he is responsible for overseeing the organization’s brand strategy and consumer marketing efforts across advertising, digital and content.

Ajay has more than 20 years of experience in brand marketing, digital media, creative direction, film and event production. He came to Travel Portland from the advertising world, where he spent many years in brand marketing roles with brands such as adidas.

When he’s not telling the world about Portland, Ajay spends his time with his wife eating & drinking his way through Portland’s stellar food scene, being frustrated with the Portland Trail Blazers, or trying to keep up with their four kids.

Hosts: Leif Pettersen of Leif Pettersen PR and Chris Christensen of and

Online Travel Editor – Passport Travel Marketing & PR #022

Online Travel Editor – Passport Travel Marketing & PR Podcast #022
Interview with Trisha Ping about how destinations and travel brands can better work with an online travel editor.

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Trisha Ping is Lonely Planet’s Destination Editor for the Eastern US, coordinating content for 33 states. Prior to joining Lonely Planet, she worked in editorial for more than 10 years, most recently as managing editor of a national book review. Trisha is a huge fan of train travel, trying new recipes, using a bicycle for transportation and attempting foreign languages.

Hosts: Leif Pettersen of Leif Pettersen PR and Chris Christensen of and

Online Travel Editor – Passport Travel Marketing & PR Podcast #022

Should You Hire an Instagram Marketing Service?

Whether you are a company or a blogger, you probably have a lot of things to do. A difficult but important question is when should you outsource some of what you are doing, in this case to an Instagram Marketing Service.

Stalled Instagram Growth

For me, the question was what to do about instagram. A lot of companies are looking for bloggers with 10,000+ instagram followers for different campaigns and I was not having much luck growing my account. I had about 3,000 followers,

I was posting a new photo once or twice a day, but I really didn’t have the time to spend on instagram between Amateur, the This Week in Travel podcast, the Passport Travel Marketing and PR podcast, another podcast, volunteering and paid software consulting. I was pretty busy.

Hire an Expert

I was approached by Social Network Elite that they would spend a month working to raise my instagram following as a trial as long as I would write about what the results were.

I needed to know some things first. I needed to know:

  • They would not buy followers
  • They would not actually post any new images on my feed
  • They would just interact with other instagram users, commenting, following, etc.

It seemed worth a try, but frankly I was skeptical. When they started  I was at 3,100 followers, after a month I was at 4,000 followers. But the more interesting thing is that since then my followers have grown to 4,823 followers. Some of that may have been directly from their effort but it seems like they also just helped me build some momentum that has continued after they stopped.

Now I have spent some time for a month before trying the kind of things that they were doing with less success. So some of the success was effort but some is probably that they are better at this than I am. So I could have outsourced this to some VA in the Philippines who had more time but did not have as much knowledge and I would have gotten different results.


One thing I do like about Instagram is spending some time looking at my Instagram feed for what friends are doing or just looking at cool photos. Now that someone else has been in charge of who I follow, I have sometimes gone in and said, “why am I following that person who is not posting travel photos”. I have unfollowed some people.

This was one of the big reasons I wanted to make sure I knew the ground rules. Following someone I didn’t want to is not a big deal but posting photos would be a bigger deal and buying followers would make me deserve to be sent to some frozen level of internet hell.


Outsourcing somethings helps. In my case I did find that an Instagram Marketing Service was able to get more results than I could and… those results seem to have gotten me unstuck. So, what is your experience?