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Local Expert

More than any topic I know, people love reading and talking about travel.  With that in mind, here are the titles of some travel articles for your consideration:

  1. 5 Ways to Travel Better this Year;
  2. How not to be a victim on your next vacation;
  3. Getting the most out of a cruise vacation;
  4. Secrets the airlines don’t want you to know;
  5. What You Don’t Know about Las Vegas – but Should!

Would you like to read those articles? I would, and my bet is that you would too. So would your clients! So why don’t you write them? Anyone reading a well-written thoughtful article on any of these topics would likely regard the author as an expert in the topic of travel. My suggestion is that you write the articles, get them placed locally, promote yourself as a speaker and get yourself recognized as a local expert.

Is it that easy?  Well, no, not really. Read on.

ExpertPublic relations is the art of raising your travel agency’s profile by generating “buzz” through the media, events, public speaking and publishing. Public relation efforts indirectly market your services by promoting you as a “go-to” resource for travel information. As you successfully raise your market profile, organizations will begin to seek you out for comments, advice and speaking opportunities.

On the rarest of occasions, good PR just “happens” – a lucky coincidence of timing will put your agency’s activities in the spotlight. However, far more often, good public relations is the result of effort invested over a long period of time, planting the seeds that eventually result in a rush of publicity. As a student of marketing, it is important to examine the steps you need to take to prepare for luck – to lay the groundwork for a great public relations campaign. The goal of a great public relations campaign is to be better connected to your local media, to be writing better public relations copy and to generally be better able to recognize an opportunity when it arises.

One of the most beneficial aspects of a public relations campaign is the wide net it casts at very little expense. Most of the investment in local public relations will be reflected in your personal effort. A word of warning, however. Public relations is not for the faint of heart. In making the decision to market via a public relations campaign, you are committing to placing your company and its personality in full view and scrutiny. Once a PR effort is unleashed, it has to be followed through with enthusiasm and determination. Not every effort will be successful, but a no effort should fail for a lack of follow-through.

This week I’ll be working with the good folks at The Travel Institute conducting a webinar on  “5 Steps to Putting a Public Relations Program into Place” on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT. Please join us there!

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