Build a media contacts list for tourism and bring in people like these Social Media Tulsa 2017 group photo (courtesy SMTulsa on Facebook)

Get smart, digitally-savvy people like these to your destination. Social Media Tulsa 2017 conference group photo (courtesy SMTulsa on Facebook)

How can you create a media contacts list that is perfect for YOUR destination?

Online media coverage brings attention and publicity to your town. It can also be the “gift that keeps on giving” for you.

Links back to your website and tourism partner sites from online articles and blog posts can help your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and visibility in search engines.

If the article or post itself is seen as authoritative and helpful, it can sit on Page One of search results for years, calling attention to your destination.

How can you develop a list of online publishers and media contacts who might want to write stories, take photos, shoot video, or record podcasts about your destination?

Here is what we recommend:

1)  Review the top three sorts of visitors, guests, or customers you’d like to attract. List their interests. Describe how your destination, attraction, hotel, or tourism partner business matches their interests, and is exactly what they are looking for.

2)  Then, list five kinds of media that those visitors probably read, listen to, or watch, based on their interests.

3)  Look at your “five kinds of media” list above. Make a list of possible matches for each of these. You don’t need names yet; just ideas.

For example: your perfect visitor may like a food podcast, a crafting blog, a travel-focused Instagram account, a cycling Facebook Page, and a meeting planner Group on LinkedIn.

4)  Now take the list from #3, and start researching.

Using the example above, find as many food podcasts, crafting blogs, etc. as you can. This is the start of a media contacts list that you will be growing and nurturing in the years (yes, years) to come.

5)  Do NOT hit your media prospects with pitch emails right away. Use social media to build a relationship with them first. Leave comments on relevant posts on that crafting blog, for example. Send a tweet to say hello on Twitter. Interact on their Instagram or YouTube accounts. Send a personalized LinkedIn connection request.

It is OK to start a list with only one or two media contacts, if they are the right ones for you. Media people know other media people, and they will talk. The word will start to spread if you offer a positive visitor experience.

For more tips about building better tours – audio, video, plus press trips and blogger fams – see Lesson Six from our online course.

Thanks, and good hunting!

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