Whether you represent a destination, run a tour company, or own an accommodation, if you’re a travel service provider interested in connecting with travelers, you should have a media (or press) room or page on your website.
A media room is a space where travel content creators like travel journalists and bloggers can easily access any basic information they need to know about your company, products, and services. Content creators are a vital link between your company and the people who will visit your destination and book your experiences. While a well-organized and intuitive website may make it easy to track down desired information, a media room shows forethought about the kinds of questions content creators might have, making it easy to accurately and seamlessly share your story.
Many companies have a press page that simply trumpets their past media coverage. While this is nice, these companies might be leaving further promotion and exposure opportunities on the table because creators can’t find basic information they need in order to include service providers in articles as featured subjects or examples.
This online space doesn’t need to be fancy, but it should be revisited occasionally and updated as appropriate. You don’t need to republish everything on this one page, but check to make sure links to relevant content are functional and that information, including contact details and branding, are still relevant. Assume that anything on this page could be picked up and used in printed content, so be mindful of accurate spellings, place names, and copyright credits.
So, what goes in this space? As time and bandwidth allow, you can build this into a robust ecosystem, but start with these five key things.
1. Fact sheet with basic information.
You might know your company inside and out, but most people don’t. It is shockingly difficult to find basic information about most companies on their websites, and a fact sheet is a one-stop-shop for all of this.
This includes operational information, such as number of employees, names of management staff, and location of the company. For destinations, include details such as the physical size, population, boundaries, areas served, and key geographical features. For other service providers, advise what product or service you sell with any relevant statistics, such as how many clients you serve annually and the number of tours you offer.
This would also be a place to note awards, memberships, and other achievements.
2. Research, impact reports, and press releases.
If your company publishes public-facing research studies, impact reports, or strategy documents, provide brief summaries and links to them. And if you’ve written any press releases about these, make those available too.
While some journalists will download and read reports in their entirety (and they should), many more will be interested in grabbing the key insights or data points. It is also helpful if you’ve compiled any quotes from leadership or other relevant staff about the findings that creators can use verbatim.
Importantly, make sure there are dates of publication affiliated with all of this information. Media will want to know how recent and relevant this information is.
3. Mission statements, sustainability commitments, and other aspirational documents.
What does your company stand for? What do you intend to offer the world? As more companies realize their purpose extends beyond making a profit, they’re fleshing out their brand stories and putting their commitments into writing. The even better news is that more content creators are sharing these kinds of stories with the world, so make sure this information is made readily available to them.
Transparency is increasingly important for travel companies, so make sure you measure and provide any updates on progress you’ve made toward sustainability or climate commitments. Journalists are looking for this kind of information.
4. Stock photography.
If it’s possible to offer even a small range of photography that represents your destination or company that content creators can download and use, you’re already miles ahead of most of your colleagues. The ideal situation is that content creators use their own original photography, but that’s not always possible. If you have imagery available, editors are also likely to grab it for use as featured images, which offers even greater promotional opportunities.
Offer a variety of horizontal and vertical images, some with people and some without. Make sure you have permission to share all photography, because once it’s out in the world, you can’t pull it back. That’s why it’s also important to make sure you provide any photo credits that need to appear with the photography. This won’t always happen upon publication, unfortunately, but it’s more likely to be accurately credited if you make the information easily available. Also provide headshots for any key members of your staff.
The benefit of offering photography is that the alternative is having photos that don’t accurately represent your company lifted and used. This imagery might be blurry, outdated, or inappropriate. Control the story by controlling the content.
Some companies prefer that people contact staff for imagery, which is fine, but make sure you follow up in a timely manner because many journalists are on deadline.
5. Contact information.
And that brings us to the last point. Make the name and contact information for the media representative at your company easy to find in your press room. Far too many media pages in the tourism space have generic info@ email addresses, or incomplete or no information at all.
While having basic information on your media page will cut down on the amount of inquiries you receive directly from content creators, they may need to contact you about a whole host of issues and questions. This includes if and how you work with content creators, interview opportunities for articles and podcasts, and clarification of information.
Most companies welcome media coverage because it helps reach potential clients, but you want to make sure the information shared about your company is accurate and representative of the image you want to put out into the world. An easy-to-find, updated press room with contact information for further inquiries is a big step in the right direction.