More than 3.5 years ago I attended my first press trip – ever since I've been invited to more than 40 press trips, fam trips and blogger trips. Now now it's time to share my experience with you in this post. Please note that I will use the terms press trip, fam trip and blogger trip exchangeably – I simply refer to a trip that a blogger is invited to.
Today, there are more and more trips created exclusively for bloggers and their young audiences. Some tourism boards will mix bloggers and journalists, some will keep them strictly apart. If it is up to me: I'd be happy to join the journalists.
All Press Trips are Different
There are press trips that have more activities in their programme than could possibly fit in a single day. There's barely a moment to breathe and explore the city or region without the group. Many times the programme is so fully packed, that you are completely exhausted after the first day. However, all press trips are different, so are bloggers. And there are press trips that have planned a very relaxed program and allow bloggers enough space to discover places on their own.
Tips for Press Trips for Bloggers
Before a Press Trip | A: Receive an invitation
Before I agree to accept an invitation to a press trip at all, I ask for the (provisional) program and look at it carefully. That way I can ensure that this trip fits me and my blog readers. A surf trip to Spain just does not fit my blog. In order for the marketing agency or the destination to be able to organize their trip successfully anyway, I like to recommend blogger colleagues who write about those topics.
I also want to know who else will be there on the trip – how big is the group, how many bloggers or journalists will travel together, will I be able to do things on my own?
What is expected of me as a blogger? How many posts on Facebook and Instagram? How many blog articles? Should I write about something specific? When all this is clarified, both sides know who they are getting involved with and disappointments are kept to a minimum.
Sometimes I ask to arrive a bit earlier and/or stay a bit longer. This gives me time to explore the place at my own pace and do things that aren't in the programme.
What about the reimbursement? Who pays for transportation to the destination, is the food included and what about drinks? When travelling internationally, I also ask about the flights and whether there are direct flights from Vienna or whether it would also be possible to fly from Linz.
Is there a budget? Is the journey a paid trip or an invitation?
After all that information, I accept – or decline the invitation.
Before a Press Trip | B: Send a request
Every now and then I try to get in touch with tourism boards and hotels and ask whether they want to work together. In a detailed email, I explain what I have planned, when I intend on visiting, what I expect and what I can offer in return.
When I look for hotels to work with, I always email several at the same time. Why? Some hotels sort emails from bloggers straight into the spam folder. I always ask for at least three nights for either myself or two. I don't ask for less because I can't invest so much time writing about it if the exchange is not worth my time. Think about it how much time goes into writing one blog post, finding photos, posting it on social media (know your worth).
Before a Press Trip | Planning and Preparation
It doesn't matter if I'll be on an individual press trip or on a trip with a group of journalists or bloggers, I do my research about the place. What is there to see, what places will we visit? I also like to get updated on changes to the itinerary.
I save all places that we are visiting and that I wish to visit on either google maps or maps.me to get an idea of where will we be. I ask the hosts if some of the places I'd like to see can be added to the itinerary.
I let my hosts know that I don't eat meat, but fish will be fine.
Hashtags: I ask my hosts which hashtags they want us to use and which pages to tag on our social media channels.
Before I start packing, I browse the program and the relevant emails once more. I do my own research on what to bring as well. I also make sure that all batteries are fully charged, the memory cards are empty and that my power bank is packed.
Some bloggers let the hosts check them in with the airline. I prefer to do that myself and chose a seat that I like. #TeamWindowSeat
I print the itinerary, take copies of my passport and write down all relevant phone numbers.
During the Press Trip | On Site
My most important rule on a press trip: show up on time! Always!
Whenever I join international press trips I take some Austrian pralines for our guide and host – of course, they enjoy that gesture and will remember you.
I always have a small notebook and pen ready to write down things that I would like to mention later on my blog. Often there is so much information on press trips and although I always think I can remember everything, at the end of the day I realize that very few things have stuck with me. I try to write everything in as much detail as possible so that I can use the information well and play it back home.
I have NEVER drunk so much on a press trip that I should have been ashamed. Unfortunately, there are a few bloggers who consider press trips as drinking trips. I am not surprised if some hosts do not pay for alcoholic beverages.
After the Press Trip | Writing + Report
I try to keep my promises to the hosts as best I can. If I have clarified in advance what I deliver and when then I have to stick to it and there are no nasty surprises from any side. Of course, it happened to me that I missed a deadline, but that should be the exception and not the rule.
Normally this includes one or more blog posts in German and English. These will then be shared on my social media channels. In addition, there is still – if appropriate – Pinterest graphics.
Generally, I always deliver a bit more. This leaves a good impression with those responsible and you may be invited back or even recommended to colleagues.
If agreed, I sum up my social media posts (likes, engagement, reach, …) in a report and send it to my contact.
After the press trip is before the press trip
After all this, I lean back and try to analyze what went well and what did not go so well. What were the causes? How can I make it better next time?
I read what the other blogger colleagues have written, how did they write about the trip, how did they feel about it. Are there any videos? I get inspired by it and take ideas for other trips and reports.
How is your experience with press trips? Do you have any tips?
ps. pin this for later: