So you're a media relations whizz and want to get your company, organization or client mentioned in my coverage? Here are a few insider tips, in Q&A format.
How can I find out what you’re writing about?
• Follow me on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), where I sometimes post calls for info. You'll find the links to all of this right under my name on this page.
• Subscribe to HARO or TravMedia, where I also post calls for info.
• Ask me to put you on my "calls for info" list.
How do I know what you write about?
First, follow me on all my social media channels, and subscribe to this page, right here, so you can see what I usually write about. Generally, I write about travel, tourism, hospitality, meetings and incentives. And if it's related to Mexico, Nevada, Costa Rica or Myrtle Beach, even better.
What's the best way to submit?
E-mail, always e-mail. Send your press releases, as well as detailed information that's specific to what I'm looking for. If you have high-resolution images, feel free to send them, or send a link where I can download them.
If I submit, can you write a complete story focusing just on my client, product, service or destination?
Honestly, the answer is usually (but not always) no. Features that are focused solely on one thing are generally the result of a press trip or personal visit. As a journalist, I can't produce an accurate and detailed feature just about one thing if I've never seen it or experienced it myself. A large number of my features are about trends, roundups and types of travel, so for those, I'm always looking for good fits and I welcome news, ideas and images for those reports. And, of course, I'm open to press trips, too, when there's a definite opportunity to publish something truly interesting!
How do you decide whether you'll use what I submit?
I may receive an overwhelming response to some calls for info, so it can take me some time to sort everything out and determine what gets in. Places and services that I’ve actually experienced, of course, will get top priority, when they’re appropriate for a specific article. I will almost never be able to tell you immediately whether I will use what you sent.
Do you always want interviews for your articles?
No. For some types of assignments, I never use interviews. For others, I always do. I usually mention if I need interview subjects, when I'm looking for them. No harm if you ask me, of course.
Should I follow up immediately to ask if you’re going to use what I submitted?
No! If you’ve just submitted something I won’t have made a decision — and if I’m on a tight deadline I likely won’t even have time to answer that question. Same goes for asking me a day or two after you've submitted. I will try to tell you after publication (if you’re lucky). But asking me immediately will only take up your time and mine, and won't provide you with a definite answer.
How long before what I submit might be in print?
Every publication and Website is different, and it's not my decision — it's the editor's. It could be two weeks, it could be several weeks or several months. I will always attempt to provide you with the publication date.
When should I follow up to see if your article has been published?
Let's be realistic. I'm very busy and so are you. So I often will not have time to send out links once they're published (sometimes I don't even know when something's been published). If you know the media outlet where my feature is scheduled to appear, you can save time if you do the same thing I do to find out: Search the website. Even more importantly, you should subscribe to my updates here — that way you will never miss a single article that I write!
(Just click on the subscription button on this page — it's free, doesn't require registration, and you'll get a maximum of one update a week with all of my latest work. Isn't that fun?)