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What Can We Do Better? Content Creators Sound Off On Their PR Pet Peeves

What Can We Do Better? Content Creators Sound Off On Their PR Pet Peeves

For the past few years, we’ve been chatting with some of our favorite writers, podcasters, influencers and content creators for our TURNER Q&A series. One question we’re always sure to ask each one of our interviewees is: “What can we do better?” See below for some of the best responses (and be sure to click through to read the complete conversations!).

Don’t Be Generic

Heather Greenwood Davis: Sometimes, PR can take a very generic approach to things. It can feel like, "OK, we have a new property or a new destination that we're representing, so let's just tell everyone that we have a new property or destination." Speaking for me personally, what's more useful is if you have a sense of what I write about and how I write. And that you have some trust in what I do.

“Accessible” Has Many Meanings

Cory Lee: PR firms should be aware that the word "accessible" means something different to every person. I don't know everything about every disability. It's important to [approach] accessibility from a variety of perspectives. Work with writers and influencers who cover wheelchair accessible travel, but also maybe travelers who are blind or hard of hearing or on the autism spectrum. There are so many variations of accessibility, so the more coverage we can see, the better.

Quit Nitpicking

Lebawit Lily Girma: Sometimes we'll get PR being very nitpicky about stuff — after it’s been published. Asking, “Can you please include my client even though I know it's already published?” That’s never happening. It's also not a very professional request. Overall, I think it's just a matter of mutual respect. Do I really want to waste somebody's time with XYZ, or can I sort that out myself? Is it that big of a deal?

Give Us The Data!

Charu Suri: Giving us hard data is so important. You’d be amazed at how many pitches I get with literally zero useful information that. Yes, I get that there’s a hotel opening, but that’s not really news. I need a real story and I need data to back it up. So much of the information I get is coming from a marketing point of view, not from the traveler’s point of view.

Seek Out Diverse Voices

Jenn Chan: I’d love to see more voices represented. There have been countless trips where I’ve been the only minority in the group. Actually, I was on a trip with two other women of color, and they brought it up. I was like, “Oh my god, you’re right! This is the first time!” So, I hope that the industry is more cognizant of who we’re selecting to go on trips, so that more voices are represented.

Time & Labor Are Worth The $$$

Nana Agyemang: Ultimately, you really have to be mindful of the time that these influencers are putting in. It’s amazing to have an all-inclusive trip — trust me, I’ve done 20 of those this year. They’re great. But it’s important to understand that an influencer’s time and labor are worth the spend. Remember, they’re creating marketing materials for you. Otherwise, a brand would have to hire a photographer, pay for a model, get a videographer. With an influencer, you have someone who is a one-stop shop. So, why not allocate even a minor budget towards that?

We’re All Part Of The Same Ecosystem

Travis Levius: A lot of blue-chip journalists in the traditional media landscape still look down on influencers and creators, right? But now, we're all part of the same ecosystem. So why is it a problem for people to create beautiful videos and photos of themselves traveling in these places? I do feel like video is has become a much more powerful tool to communicate with people. Words are great, but video is very powerful as well. If you can give people more of a visual glimpse into an experience, a hotel, a restaurant or a museum, then why not?

The Human Touch

Emy Rodriguez: The biggest thing is just being aware of the types of writers you're working with or bringing on a trip. That's an age-old problem that I've heard other journalists talk about. Having two of the same type of writers on a trip might create a conflict. Finding a happy medium in terms of different beats is important there. On FAM trips, it's good if you think of us as humans. Don't jam-pack the itinerary—consider that maybe we need 30 minutes to decompress or use the restroom.

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