Working with Bloggers

Working with Bloggers – During the Press Trip

In this video Chris Christensen from talks about assembling a team of content creators for a press trip. How to set expectations and what the advantages are of a diverse set of content creators.

I’m Chris Christensen from BloggerBridge, and we’re talking about working with bloggers. And today, we’re going to talk about Press trips but specifically what to do on the Press trip.

Three different recommendations for you; I mentioned a Press trip that I did with Maui years back — this was in 2010. One of the things that they did very well on that Press trip is they tailored it to different people. This was a combined Press trip with both new media content creators as well as traditional media. And some of the content creators — for instance, one was a radio personality from Los Angeles, who had a beach. He had a beach nearby, so he said, “I’m going to Hawaii but I don’t care about a beach.” But he did a food show, and so what he said is, “I want to see where the food is grown. I want to see what’s going on in the food industry in Hawaii, on Maui in particular.”

On the other hand, I’m someone who loves a good beach, and I would get up on Wednesday morning. And my itinerary said, “Go explore the beach.” I had a rental car. I had no particular restrictions other than at 5:00 I needed to be at this place for a group dinner.” And so, I went to beaches. I went out and wrote about what it’s like to have street food near the beaches, and what it’s like to body surf. I even shot some underwater video there, as well as photography. I went and swam in lava tubes over by the Road to Hana, and documented that part of the experience; very different trips. The same goal, creating content that let people know that Hawaii, particularly Maui, was a great destination.

So, that’s one is; think about customizing it. Rule number two is, think about the schedule. Make sure there’s room in the schedule for content creators like bloggers. They may need some time to actually write. They may have a job when they get home. They may not be doing this full time, or they may be going on to their next Press trip if they are somebody who does this full time. So, don’t pack the schedule so full that they can’t actually get any content out while they’re there. Give them some down time.

And the third thing to think about is connectivity. The very first Press trip I did was to a resort in Mexico, and the first thing they did when we got there was, they handed us a wireless WiFi router. And so, as we were going out through this trip, we were Twittering, we were setting up Instagram everywhere we went, because we were constantly able to connect and produce content right there on the fly. So, that’s a third thing to think about when you’re working with bloggers.

9 replies on “Working with Bloggers – During the Press Trip”

I’ve been on press trips and I’ve planned them. and I agree customizing to suit particular needs/audiences makes good sense. Down time too… I would have loved some on my last trip. I only managed two posts during the tour and it was 6 night, 7 day one. The other thing is hi speed internet wherever we stay. I have a phone but prefer my Nikon and downloading photos for on a slow service provider is downright painful. Finally, love the idea of connectivity and so do DMOs but I think tweeting and posting during a meal is overkill and besides which it kills good dinner conversation. Get the pix but post after a meal.

I agree and really enjoy press trips when the DMO/brand/company has tailored the trip to your audience. It’s more authentic that way. Of course some things I wouldn’t normally participate in are nice surprises but it still needs to be along the lines of what you write about/what you enjoy writing about.

I have arrived at destinations where I am not given any of the businesses or locations’ social media or special hashtags. I tweet, instagram, Facebook, etc live when I’m on a trip. I don’t write posts usually till post trip but I always post on social media at the moment it’s happening. It’s handy when it’s all been provided with facts, etc. I usually prefer print outs in this case because I’ll bring it along with me as I explore.

It’s nice when the DMO leaves you taxi vouchers or public transit tickets if you do not have access to a car.

Yes on down time! Sometimes you want to go back to your hotel room, enjoy it, and take notes or write. A good night’s rest is vital!! I had one DMO ask me if I was a morning person so they knew what time to set appointments for. That was appreciated!

Thanks for this post, Chris – I hope many DMOs will watch! As a blogger covering the family travel niche since 2007 (with pre-blog site pre-dating that!), I’ve found it exponentially more helpful to work with DMOs in advance to find the best contacts for my trip, and then to make individual arrangements with the properties, tour operators, etc. (or often I have just contacted those that seemed the best candidates from my own research, introduced myself, and gone from there). Not only does it allow for an original itinerary that fits my family’s interests and ages at the time of travel, but it also enables me to build in that down time we need for me to squeeze in all the writing while my family gets a break from otherwise non-stop touring (and also deal with the school work that often follows us now). Similar to what you’re recommending as far as freeing up the blogger’s schedule to cover their niche independently, I think group press trips to cover a “family travel” niche rarely give the opportunities for depth of coverage or reflection on a destination as experienced by a real family. But I realize some organizations favor maximum tweets per press trip over quality coverage that holds its own online for years to come. 😉

Good points, Chris! An itinerary where everyone has to do the same things, no matter what their way of storytelling, is mostly putting me off.
And hell yeah to the posting after meals rule!

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