Two observations bracketing my day today:
Bloggers as Moochers
This morning on Twitter, I noted (tweeting as @TourismCurrents) a press trip announcement for Southern city B&Bs that wants writers with letters of assignment from print publications with “minimum annual circulation of 100,000.” I thought it was interesting that there was no mention of an online publication as an alternative, with X number of unique visitors per month, X number of email subscribers or some other metric for reach.
I thought this exclusion was short-sighted, and said so.
“….say they get burned frequently by bloggers who don’t produce goods….Most bloggers can’t demonstrate reach of a [blog] post.” [as compared to the reach of print coverage.]
So, not a great reputation for bloggers out there in the hospitality world that Lara and Terence have seen so far.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but there it is.
Bloggers as Desirable
This evening – also on Twitter – I notice an initiative by @VisitLanai (the Hawaiian island of Lanai’s Visitor Bureau) for a “New Media Artist-in-Residence” program to bring online publishers across the Pacific to experience the island. First up is my friend Shannon Hurst Lane of the Traveling Mamas. Follow the #VisitLanai hashtag for more.
Now, not 10 minutes after I tweeted about that, a DM (Direct Message – private message on Twitter) popped up on my dashboard from a friend asking me how to get in on the New Media Artist-in-Residence program. 🙂
Here’s the question – while I certainly have my reservations about press trips and fam tours – the fact is that while they ARE work, they are also pretty darned cool when they’re in a cool place (and yo, Hawaii is pretty fab.)
Given the blogger-as-moocher reputation issues raised by Lara and Terence above, who is going to get invites to top-tier places like Hawaii?
I do know this – the Hawaii tourism people know exactly what they have to offer with their beautiful islands, and they will be picky, picky about who they select for invitations to their new media program. Online publishers who want to go will have to show that they will (unlike what the hotel people complain about) “deliver the goods” and that their online publishing has reach and impact.
If you’re a CVB, DMO or Tourist Board, you’d better know how to evaluate bloggers and their work online. There are metrics and they can drill down pretty far – further than a lot of specious print circ numbers – but you need to know what you’re looking at with analytics. Do not just invite a blogger to say you invited a blogger, and think you’re now all social media-y and hip.
If you’re a blogger and you want to go on these trips, you’d better be able to pony up some numbers/analytics info about your online presence, and you’d better be ready to say exactly what you plan to “deliver” to your hosts. PR guy Peter Shankman addressed this tangentially in this post: Want to get sponsored? You’d better be sponsorable.
I like days that show me two perspectives on online media within 12 hours!
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