Yesterday we used the example of leveraging your public relations efforts by sponsoring an event with a not-for-profit, an animal shelter. Continuing with that same example, we now want to involve the local press. An article written in the local paper will provide not only the publicity you are seeking for your event, but will raise the profile of your agency as readers associate it with a worthy cause.
The typical approach to involving the press is to craft a press release. Hopefully, you have been cultivating press relationships in your community prior to the time you need them. Even if you are without such first-hand knowledge of local press contacts, however, a bit of preparation can assist you in getting the appropriate attention you seek.
Article continues below
This 365 Marketing and Sales Tip is provided free to the travel agent community by:
A standard press release will have a familiar format. In this case, place it on the letterhead of the not-for-profit animal shelter. This further leverages the good-will of an organization deemed newsworthy in the community. Indicate that the press release is “For Immediate Release”. Provide your contact information including phone numbers and email address. Use a title for the story that draws in the reader. In our example, we might use “Celebrate Adopt-an-Animal Volunteers with the Animal Service Center“. Use a strong opening sentence that quickly describes the event and why it is newsworthy. Include a very short explanation of your company’s involvement: “ABC Travel, a patron of the Animal Service Center, is sponsoring the event.” End the press release body with three “hash marks” ### and then repeat your contact information in a sentence form.
Send your press release with a short cover letter that very briefly explains the event and why it’s a good local story. The addition of the cover letter allows the busy reporter to quickly spot the news-worthy nature of your event and to make a quick decision about involvement. Be very direct and upfront in your approach “I am writing to recommend the upcoming Animal Service Center “Celebrate Adopt-An-Animal Volunteers” event to you and your readers.” Keep it brief.
Do a bit of research on the internet to see which reporters have covered similar events for local media outlets. It is highly likely that the not-for-profit with which you are partnering will also have contacts that they typically use. Again, leverage their pre-existing relationships.
Next, we will address how to introduce your travel planning practice into the story elements for your event.
Tomorrow – Giving Interviews