When we first launched TRO, we surveyed what the other media was providing travel agents. From our perspective, most of the “news” being provided were supplier and destination press releases. Essentially, the same articles were appearing in every magazine and newsletter. There was no room, or need, for another outlet for supplier “news”. We wanted to be different. TRO wanted to produce information that travel agents could actually put to use in their travel practice immediately.
Historically, while the trade periodicals covered travel agents, seldom were the articles and issues actually BY travel agents. As a result, the decision was made to allow travel agents a voice in a trade media publication. Thus, almost every story published on TRO has been written by a travel agent, or has been reported and edited by a travel agent.
The first few articles by travel agents hit a nerve. The Travel Agent Diaries series and the Agent Perspectives gave travel agents a place to write and read about the trials and travails of other travel agents at work. John Frenaye continued to hammer away at pseudo-travel agents and to goad agents into working smarter. I wrote and re-wrote my one and only sermon – (Marketing, Marketing, Marketing) in my editorial column and then laid it on thicker in the daily (I still cannot believe I committed to a daily column) 365 Guide. Cruise junkie Ralph Grizzle joined us to deliver his perspective from his non-stop cruise of the world. Lyn Cathey’s Soundings column is filled with Lyn’s own special brand of humor. Writers like Mike Marchev and Nolan Burris are special regular guests (Mike likes it when I mention him before Nolan). Indeed, many of TRO’s writers have become regulars at industry trade events, and we are particularly pround of the role we have played in elevating the voice of the travel agent.
About the same time, we launched TRO’s Travelgram. This is our most successful publication, our introduction to most travel agents. The Travelgram aggregates consumer news articles from across the internet and brings them to travel agents daily, keeping them in the loop on what their clients are reading. A few minutes with the Travelgram every day lets travel agents know what their clients are thinking about and anticipates the questions that will come their way from travelers. The Travelgram provides great content daily for your Facebook and Twitter posts, as well as fodder for your own blog. The Travelgram is also linked to our Travel Specials database where travel agents can research current offerings by TRO’s advertisers and find consumer friendly emailers, brochures and other marketing collateral to email to their clients, branded with the travel agent’s logo and content information.
TRO wants to provoke good, solid and productive conversation with our travel agent readers. Please keep us on our toes. We are here for you.
Tomorrow: TRO’s Community