Tips & Rules For Media Events & FAM Trips
As a travel blogger, I get a lot of invitations from PR people to attend events, tastings at restaurants and even full-on trips where pretty much everything is comped.
The latter involves going to a destination and touring things the PR agency or tourism board wants to promote, dining in local restaurants and staying in a hotel.
Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. And while all this is comped – although unless you’re on a group trip you have to always tip the restaurant’s server of course, which sometimes can cost as much as a meal at lesser high-end places – there is a price to be paid later. You’re expected to write about all these adventures.
And that’s where the work comes in with these trips. If you’re writing for a huge publication, you can generally get away with one article that mentions everything, but most of the time I do several articles. I do this for a couple of reasons: the more stories means potentially more page views because I can be very specific in my SEO headlines and I want to be invited back again to the destination.
For me, that means when I return home, I will spend 2-3 days writing about every element of the trip. And I’m a fast writer! I post multiple articles on each aspect of the trip.
So here’s things to know if you’re an aspiring travel blogger or one who is new to press trips and events:
1.) You must write about the trip.
2.) You must post to social media. In fact, some people with huge followers (tens of thousands) can earn trips simply by doing multiple social media posts and not actually write a word on a blog. Some PR agencies and destinations require a certain amount of posts before approving you for a trip.
3.) Write and post about the trip in a timely manner. Ideally this is immediately after you return home, but certainly within a week. It’s always better to write when something is fresh on your mind anyway, and it’s good PR on your part to quickly send your link(s) back to the people who invited you in the first place.
4.) You must behave yourself. Respect the trip and if others are on it, respect them by being on time when the group is meeting to go on a tour or to dinner. Don’t be texting friends and be disengaged. Pay attention, even if it’s a tour to a boring museum as part of a group FAM trip (I know of what I write; I’ve been on boring museum tours a few times).
5. ) Dress and act in a professional manner.
Remember, you’re representing your blog and you want to be invited back to more events and trips.