If you cover travel, you might get invited on a press trip. A press trip might sound like a free vacation, but it is actually a lot of work (but it is the most fun type of work). Bloggers are invited on press trips to create content for their site, and it is important to keep that in mind. Since my personal website, The Kittchen, features a lot of travel content, I have been lucky enough to attend several press trips. While on these trips, I have learned that there are some unspoken rules for attending press trips. Here they are.
You are representing your business. Be friendly, be excited to be there, and don’t complain! I was so incredibly sick when I was on a press trip in Serbia. I couldn’t just have a sick day. I took some Sudafed and made sure that I didn’t miss a single activity, even if it involved hanging out at a nightclub until 3am.
Speaking of being sick in Serbia, be prepared for the unexpected. I bring a small bag of medicine with me on every trip. I always bring Pepto tablets because press trips usually involve trying lots of new foods. If you are going to be in another time zone, bring ZzzQuil to help you sleep at night and fight off jet lag.
Be On Time
Press trips are loaded with back to back activities, and the schedule will get messed up if you are late, so don’t be late!
Communicate in Advance
If you have a food allergy or an injury that might prevent you from participating in some activities, let the organizers know in advance. I also like to give the whoever is organizing the trip (usually a PR agency) an idea of when I will be publishing the blog post about the trip.
Pay Attention to What is Expected
You might be asked to post on social media a certain number of times per day using certain hashtags, during the trip. So have your phone and camera ready so you can take Instragram worthy photos.
Deliver on Any Promises You Made
Often times you will receive an agreement prior to the trip. That agreement includes expectations for during and after the trip. This might include a blog post within a certain amount of time, a certain number of social media posts, letting the tourism board have a specific amount of photos, or sharing certain links in a blog post. Make sure that you meet, and hopefully exceed, any expectations.
Don’t Expect Invites If You Don’t Write About Travel
This should be a given, but I hear stories of bloggers asking for free trips even though they don’t cover travel on their site. Doing this will give people a poor first impression of you. Instead, wait until you have covered travel, and then reach out.
Say No If It Isn’t the Right Fit
I have crawled through spiders’ nests in the bottom of canyons in Utah, this might not be something that everyone is ok with doing. Pay attention to what types of activities will be involved in the trip, and decline the trip if it isn’t the right fit for you.
The Bottom Line
If you meet the expectations that were set for you, and if you are friendly, you are way ahead of the game. It might sound crazy, but it isn’t unheard of for bloggers to misbehave on trips or to not follow through with their end of the deal. When that happens, that PR agency probably won’t invite them back. PR agencies actually need reliable bloggers to collaborate with, so put your best foot forward!
Also, I want to point out that I had written at least 50 travel posts before I ever got invited on a press trip. You need to earn your spot with a history of covering travel.