One of the so-called perks of a travel blogger is “free travel”. That is what the outside world thinks. For those who are in the game, you know that you have to work for that sponsored stay or generous media rate. Reality is that unless you are approached by a brand, it will take a well-crafted pitch in order to get a coveted sponsored stay. I’ve had plenty of conversations with public relations and sales managers in the hospitality industry about this subject and gathered significant input. Like we say in the Marines, they want the BLUF (Bottom Line Upfront). They are not giving you a free room because you’re cute. They want to know what you can do for THEM.
- Pitch template. Create a pitch template on google. There is a feature called canned responses, click here (http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Canned-Responses-in-Gmail) to learn more. On the pitch, do a quick introduction and write something personal about the hotel. For example: “I love your concept of using locally sourced ingredients for your breakfast menu” or “I write about interior design often on my blog, would love to highlight the modern design of your property on the blog”.
- What can you do for the brand? Be a professional. Make sure to let them know what you are willing to do. For example: for a sponsored three-night stay, I will write a dedicated blog post, post three Instagram posts, and five tweets about my experience in XYZ time window. Make sure you turn in your deliverables one the dates agreed.
- Why should they work with you? Are you an Instagram star? Do you have a high traffic blog? Have you been featured in a major publication? Make sure to include that information on your pitch.
- Be consistent with your theme. If you write about luxury, it will look strange to stay at an economy hotel. Pitch to brands who are consistent with the theme of the blog. If you have a common factor, it would get the brand excited about your stay.
- Follow-up: After your stay, send an email or arrange a call with the person who you communicated with. Let them know what you enjoyed about the stay and if there are any points for improvement. If there are points of improvement, address them with the management before blasting them on social media. Send them the links to what you covered about your stay. Build a relationship with the management. You never know when you can collaborate in the future.
As I mentioned earlier, when collaborating with the hotel, make it about them using your unique spin. Properties want bloggers to showcase with their readers what makes the property special. They want you to inspire you readers and followers to book their property and get their ROI (return on investment) for your stay.
Post Creator: Jessica DeJesus, CapFABB Travel Ambassador