One of the most interesting sessions for me at #TBU11 the final open floor debate. It appeared to me that, at least for the bloggers in the audience, the key hindrance to working with PRs was that they didn’t have the relationships to discuss how the process would work. Some thought PRs would get in the way or impose restrictions during their trip which would damage their editorial credibility; some just didn’t know what a PR could contribute to organising a trip.
When we’re working with bloggers, as with journalists, PRs must :
The other discussions arising from the session (such as paying for bloggers time) can be addressed on a case by case basis. But these discussions have been going on for a few years now so it is perhaps time to stop talking about them and address them instead.
A call to action
What was abundantly clear from the session (and indeed the whole conference) was that travel bloggers and PR want to work together. But as was raised in the discussion, there are still areas of the relationship that need to be ironed out. These issues have been talked though at length, so it’s time to find a resolution.
Going on the PR numbers at #TBU11, there are at least five PR agencies that are committed to getting in right. But I know myself, that there are many more who want to develop this way of working to explore opportunities for our clients.
The relationships between bloggers and PRs needs to be built – and if that starts with those of us at #TBU11 then great, we can work it out for the benefit of the wider travel community. Because if we can do it right, it sets a precedent for how you work with other travel companies, and allows us to demonstrate the tangible benefits of investing in work with bloggers all to our clients.
Flagship is already committed to working with bloggers in that we:
But in return, we ask that bloggers:
There are many more to add, but this is just the start of a framework - perhaps one which can be added to and built up by members of #TBU11 - that we can take out to the wider community.
But if this is going to work, bloggers and PRs need to get face to face and agree some next steps. Get in touch with me, Sophy and all of the other PRs at the conference to let us know more about you and how we can help you. Let’s get together, sit down and figure out what opportunities there are for us to make this work.
Let’s not have the same discussions at the next TBU. Let’s come next time with case studies of great work that has arisen from the #TBU11 relationships that have been made.