What’s in your PR plan? Social media, media outreach, video, SEO, stakeholder engagement? What about blogger outreach, particularly if you’re working in the hospitality sector? Bloggers can be an integral part of your success…but is everyone sold on the idea of gifting expensive destination packages to travel bloggers?
To learn more about how to leverage the blogosphere, I spoke with Ryan Sheehy, APR, a PR pro who specializes in travel, tourism, and entertainment. Based in Austin, Texas, she services clients in The Lone Star State, as well as in Orlando, Florida. In addition to running her consultancy SHEEHY creative, Ryan teaches PR and emerging media at Texas State University.
Q&A with Ryan Sheehy
Q. Is there value in incorporating travel, food, and entertainment blogger outreach in your engagement program?
When I think of one of my niche markets, which is travel, I seek out those who are capable of sharing a compelling story about their journey. And that is bloggers.
Take Rachelle Lucas, for example, who is a contributing writer for multiple travel sources and author of the popular blog The Travel Bite. She’s a travel expert, speaks with an authentic voice about her experiences, and has a loyal following. Her storytelling is captivating, and so is her imagery.
In comparison to a mainstream media outlet, I believe that Rachelle has a stronger impact on the reader. She doesn’t have to play the role of “objective journalist” and can share her own story and sentiment. Today, readers value having a connection with the writer, as much as learning from their experiences.
Q. Why is it important to establish a rapport with bloggers? Especially when promoting travel and tourism?