Filtering out the phonies

By Kelly Stock, Media and Communications Manager, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

12 March 2014

"My name is John, and I write for Timbucktoo's leading blog which is read by over 1 billion people. I'm travelling in New Zealand this summer and writing about my trip so am giving you this great opportunity to showcase your business…"

Sound familiar? With so many bloggers, journalists, and film crews around, how do you decipher the genuine, from those that promise the world without delivering anything?

Google them. If they're a published writer or blogger there should be a trail to follow. Don't be afraid to ask questions…get more details, proof and examples of their previous work. If they're bloggers you should easily be able to see their online work and they should be able to provide you with details on their webstats at the drop of a hat. If they're writers, their work is also likely to be published online, plus realistically it's pretty easy to scan and send hard copies too.

Evaluate the target market. So John is a genuine blogger, but how many people from Timbucktoo do you get through your B&B? If their audience is too niche for the service or product you provide, and you think that the coverage you receive won't be of benefit, be honest.

Google them. If they're a published writer or blogger there should be a trail to follow.

Kelly Stock, Media and Communications Manager, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

Don't be bullied and given false promises from the illusion of glamour. Be cautious, as in any business decision and after determining how legitimate the opportunity is, weigh up the benefits against the costs. Media, like trade, rates are common throughout the world and are totally acceptable.

Ask us. CCT gets a lot of enquiries from all kinds of international and domestic media asking for everything from one image, to information and interviews, right through to support for flights and their entire itinerary. Some opportunities are too good to miss, and others just aren't right so we can only offer information. Often media who have approached a tourism provider directly have also come through to the RTO for information about the region and how we can support them. If you have questions about someone that's approached you, send the details to our media team – we may have heard of them, or will ask the TNZ PR Agents in market, on your behalf.

Media is far from an exact science – you may get 10 bookings directly from that 50 word blurb in the Timbucktoo Daily Times because the right people were reading it, or you may hear nothing from the 30 minute documentary aired on worldwide primetime television.

Media coverage can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. Grab the opportunities when they come your way, but don't be afraid to ask questions and if you don't feel that this one is for you…simply say "sorry not this time!".

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