In my previous post about pitching tourist boards I shared the one and only thing you must know before you start;…
…Tourist boards work for the hotels, tour operators and other stakeholders in the destination.
So don’t start by pitching tourist boards directly, start with the stakeholders. Develop a killer idea with a hotel first, then hand the opportunity to the tourist board on a silver platter. Trust me, you’ll be far more likely to succeed in your pitch.
Ok, that sounds great. But how do you best approach the hotel? Here are four steps to successfully pitch a hotel.
1. Develop a relationship.
The easiest way to do this is to engage with a hotel or hotels via social media. Tweet them a specific question that will elicit a response, and then keep the conversation going.
On a side note, I’m surprised at how many hotels don’t reply to a direct Twitter question.
Travel companies, if you have a Twitter account please USE IT. If you’re not going to engage in conversations with your social network, please delete your account.
2. Show them some love. No strings attached.
Mention the hotel in an article and be sure to share the link with them right away via social media as well as email. This gives them a very tangible sample of your writing style and ability, and illustrates that you’re passionate and can deliver great content.
3. Share the results.
A few days later, tally up the results of that article and share that with the hotel. Consider all outlets, including direct views on your blog in combination with social media reach. Tweet Reach is an excellent tool to determine total reach of your content. A simple and direct email, like this example below, has worked well for me in the past when sharing results and moving the conversation forward.
“The article I posted last week was one of my most well-read articles this month. With nearly 1,000 views and counting, I’ll be promoting this all month. I’d love to continue to support you. Would you be willing to offer a limited-time special offer to my readers?”
4. Propose a content collaboration.
You’ve put in the legwork and established a relationship with the hotel, now it’s time to make your pitch to travel to the destination.
During your follow up conversation you can really shine by being creative while staying true to yourself and the mission of your blog.
Most important to remember?
Clearly outline what is in it for the hotel. How will this translate into bookings? Remember, they don’t really care about your article. They care about how it will help them generate more business.
Has this approach worked for you in the past? Share your ideas and tactics that led to a mutually beneficial hotel/blogger partnership.