As the date of a press trip approaches, itineraries are flying around, details are being finalized and media kits are assembled and distributed. Amid all of this, I’ve noticed over two and a half years of travel writing, there is no social media “kit” provided at the beginning of a trip … and it wouldn’t be hard to do. Look at the top of any itinerary: you see property and agency contact information. How hard would it be to include a Twitter account, too?
Hey, travel PR folks: in addition to thinking about the coverage you hope to secure in a magazine or on a blog after the trip has run its course, think about the incremental gains you could realize during the trip itself – especially for a group trip.
When you’re planning your next press trip, consider the following social media essentials:
With YouChoose 2010, federal and state candidates who want to leverage YouTube in their campaigns can apply to have their own YouTube Politician channel. The political offering supports branding, longer videos, custom thumbnails, and includes Google Moderator and YouTube Insight for video analytics.
I was cruising around YouTube for some video clips on North Korea and Ahn Myong Chol, a former prison guard who later defected, for a North Korea story I’m putting together for Gadling. Chol has made his name as a journalist by sneaking back into the country and recording all kinds of footage that would be impossible to secure otherwise. Well, I couldn’t find the videos he shot of an open market where human flesh was (allegedly) being sold, but I did stumble upon something very strange: a video trailer promoting a musical about Yodok, one of the most notorious prison camps in North Korea.
That’s how strange it is to cover North Korea. You really never do know what you’ll encounter. A musical on Yodok? Crazy. Fortunately, I hate musicals.
Every blogger does a bit of both: originating some stories and coverign those written by others. The latter is not only easier but gives you access to news and reporting resources that you may not be able to marshal on your own. And, counter intuitively, reblogged stories can get plenty of play — in traffic and other reblogs and retweets. But, there’s still a certain value in developing your own original news. Doing so is easier than you may think. To pump up the amount of original content on your blog, go retro: press releases.
Many believe that press releases are passé, but these tools can be quite useful.
Think through the “reblog supply chain.” Except for hardcore reporting (of which we’re seeing less and less in general, everywhere), most traditional outlets do a lot from press releases. When you’re reblogging one of these stories, you’re unnecessarily giving props to a media outlet that really only did what you could do on your own. Because of the reblog, you’re making yourself look disproportionately dependent on other outlets.
Businesses looking to promote themselves in the social media world are either eager to find new opportunities or have faced the reality that they’ll soon have no choice but to venture into this space. As with any endeavor, though, trying to do everything will ultimately yield nothing. You need to understand the alternatives available and select those that are most manageable given the resources you have and will deliver the biggest bang for your buck.
While most of these tools – such as Twitter, Facebook and Digg – have many similar features, there are subtle differences among them, which will factor into the execution of your social media plan. Sometimes, you don’t really know what you’re getting into until you’re knee-deep and watching the water rise. Just by having a sense of what’s out there, you can focus your efforts on the tools that are most likely to address your specific needs.
I love Montreal. I’ve had a fantastic time every time I’ve gone. And, I’m a big fan of Canada. I enjoyed Toronto, Quebec, other parts Ontario and, of course, Montreal. Winnipeg sucked, but that’s life.
Even more than I love Canada, though, Canadians love me. I don’t know what it is, but Canadians have always taken to me, especially down here in the United States. I won’t name names, but there are plenty. Since discovering this, I thought about hunting for proof of my position, but hunting wasn’t necessary. I’ve gotten a lot of play in the Canadian press, including coverage in the Toronto Sun and Globe and Mail.
I’ve been away for a while. That’s the curse of finding paid work: not as much time to spend on the fun stuff. But, I have been able to squeeze in a bit of time to experiment with video. I’m trying to spice up my posts for Gadling and Luxist with footage that I’m shooting with a Flip HD. So far, my work is nothing short of amateurish, but I’m hoping it at least brings a bit more life to the stories I’m pulling together.