Public Relations for Travel Agents – Public Speaking | TravelResearchOnline

Public Relations for Travel Agents – Public Speaking

Public speaking is an optional, but also a highly recommended, tactic in a strong public relations program.   Every association in town, every club, church group, every business class or travel class at your local community college, enjoys having guest speakers. A tried and true tactic for a public relations strategy is to offer your expertise to a group in the form of a speaking engagement. When an organization provides you with a platform as a speaker, your credibility as a local expert is greatly enhanced.  You stand out from the crowd of other travel consultants by virtue of your very appearance in front of the room.  Moreover, opportunities to speak tend to come in successive waves – speaking at one function often leads to other speaking engagements.

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Offer to address a particular topic that has some immediate currency:

  • How to travel to Europe this Year;
  • 10 places everyone should see and how to do it;
  • Family Travel;
  • Traveling with your pet;
  • How to achieve your travel goals;
  • How to avoid travel scams;
  • Niche Cruising
  • Favorite destinations or themes

Talk about what you know.  If you have just returned from a FAM, talk about the romance of the destination, the excitement, the people, the food and the culture. Your passion for travel will carry you far in your efforts to communicate your enthusiasm.

Speaking in front of a group is daunting to some. If so, start with groups with which you are very familiar such as your Sunday School class, social club or other organization to which you belong. As you become more comfortable, branch out. Write a brief summary of your topic and research it thoroughly using resources like USA Today, MSNMC.com and other internet sites with good travel sections. Speak to those things that are interesting to you, that engage you as a professional.

Use your first effort to build a speaking resume. When you first approach an opportunity, inquire about the group’s interests. You can deliver the same talk to multiple audiences, but be prepared to offer a choice of topics if asked. When delivering your talk to the audience, stay on topic. Don’t be overtly promotional: your very presence as a speaker will establish you as an expert in the eyes of those listening. Make sure to take along some of your own marketing materials and business cards to hand out after your talk.

With practice and determination, you will soon be one of your own best marketing tools!

Getting Started: – It’s a lot simplier than you might think! My guess is that if you follow these few steps, you will have a speaking engagement in a matter of days. Start making a list of topics you would feel comfortable speaking about in public. Next, write a brief summary of one of the topics and develop it into a 15 to 20 minute talk.  Write down a few groups that would have interest in the topic. Now, simply volunteer your services. Begin soliciting speaking opportunities with churches, universities, clubs, and civic or social organizations. Many groups have people whose job it is to find speakers.  If you are comfortable, create a piece of marketing collateral that gives notice of your availability for talks.  Use each engagement to build up to another, and you can even consider developing a seminar or lecture series. Remember that the articles and materials in TRO are available to you for topics.
 
 
 

 

 

  2 thoughts on “Public Relations for Travel Agents – Public Speaking

  1. Melani Roewe says:

    I do this regularly. It has really helped with exposure, gaining clients, and more speaking engagements. I began by approaching travel product/accessories/clothing stores offering to do a packing demo including their products in exchange for contact info of everyone who signed up to attend the session. Within just a few months, I had to begin charging $ to offer this for retail establishments. I still speak gratis for nonprofits, small local affinity clubs, groups. In the latter, I require permission to display biz cards, brochures, and distribute a handout related to the topic I’m speaking on.

  2. Richard Earls says:

    Melani: Why don’t you write us an article for our Travel Agents Perspective column on your PR efforts. I’d love to read it and I know others would as well! ~ Richard

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