We have run eight press release campaigns for the winners of the PublicityShip Hidden Jewel Awards for small tourism operators.
The campaigns continue to run, with more publicity expected later this year, but the publicity achieved so far is worth both celebrating and examining to discover the reasons for the success.
Whenever you experience success, do remember to celebrate, but also ask yourself what you did to deserve it. This is just as important as working out why something fails. So here goes:
1. We worked hard to find a hook for each story. For example, the health benefits of walking brought attention to Auswalk’s tours from a different angle, while Faraway Bay focused on the corporate market to grow that part of their business.
The message here is that just talking about your product or service isn’t usually enough. The story needs to take a new perspective, offer something different or be carefully targeted.
2. We harnessed the passion of tourism. This worked wonders for Bookabee Tours’ Haydyn Bromley, whose genuine passion for his tours into the Flinders Ranges helped win him a feature in an international trade magazine.
Our recent interview with the magazine’s editor also draws attention to this quality of passion – something that even the most hardened journalist can’t resist!
3. We insisted on good quality, compelling images. This was definitely a factor in much of the coverage – including Faraway Bay’s stunning coastal camp, Live History’s costume drama, and Bookabee’s experiential tours.
Again, we have heard from more than one editor that images can make all the difference to a decision to publish. For many campaigns, especially in tourism, they’re just as important as the press release itself.
4. We applied writing experience to produce press releases that could be easily turned into news stories without further research or pressure on journalists to completely rewrite the story.
News publications, both print and online, will often run stories that are virtually ready to publish without making too many changes. We saw this happen for four of the Hidden Jewels.
5. We included enough links and contact details to make it easy for a journalist to extend the message into a full feature without too much hunting around. Quick responses to enquiries are all part of that process.
This worked particularly well for Bookabee Tours and Faraway Bay, with features on other Hidden Jewels in the pipeline.
6. We tapped into the zeitgeist – or spirit of the times – by understanding what tourists are looking for and linking our Hidden Jewels to those wants. For example, Ningaloo Blue and Undara Experience appeal to the increasing number of visitors wanting an engaging and moving encounter with the natural world; and Anangu Waai, Tribal Warrior and Bookabee Tours offer the cultural authenticity that is now in high demand.
The message here is, keep your finger on the pulse of your industry and tap into growing demands, needs and trends.
7. We didn’t give up easily! Some messages will hit the editor’s desk at a busy time or simply get overlooked. Far from being disheartened, when this happened to us, we sent out follow-up messages and/or extra images with friendly emails, and made a few calls to discuss stories with our contacts.
This made a big difference, getting us attention from contacts who had previously placed our message on a backburner.
To find out more about the campaigns, go to our Client Gallery.