I had to put in my two cents after reading the tourism stories. I agree that having an advertising presence in the travel trade and consumer publications is necessary, but helping a writer find a way to place a positive feature story in newspapers and magazines tops that many times over.
I'm not saying it's easy to do, but editors have to fill their pages with features that will interest their readers and writers have to try to come up with a unique story angle that hasn't been over-written. That kind of story is much more likely to find a place in print than a press release sent by a tourism board or public relations firm.
I've been on both sides of the press trip jaunt and have decided that if
I were in charge of public relations, I would eschew the idea of a busload of journalists being hauled from one resort to another and host just one writer at a time, working with him to help find story ideas and sources before, during and after the trip.
I don't know this, but I'm guessing it would be easier to get a comp airline ticket for one writer, bi-weekly, than 10 writers at almost any time
of year. An island resort might be able to spare one room more easily than 10 and restaurants wouldn't feel the pinch of one free meal as much as ….
You get the idea.
Maybe it's been tried unsuccessfully, but I know that as a freelance writer I would love the opportunity to squeeze every last drop of story potential from an investment of four days to a week if the only thing I have to sell is time.
If I had Michael Bornn's e-mail address, I'd send this to him personally, but since I don't, I hope he reads The Source.
Willi Miller, Vero Beach, Florida
TOURISM NEEDS TO COURT TRAVEL WRITERS
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