Top tips for travel PR's with Claire Irvin at The Telegraph
In the hot seat:
- Claire Irvin
Head of Travel at The Telegraph
Claire Irvin's focus:
- Claire oversees the whole travel team across the Telegraph Media Group (‘The Telegraph’)
- The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph
- Best time to meet Claire is in the morning or to go to her for coffee
- Press Trips: Due to family Claire doesn’t do group press trips
The Travel team's focus Telegraph:
- Every morning by 8.30am a selection of travel ideas / stories are collected
- Collected by Assistant Head of Travel
- At 10am - Telegraph conference where pitch stories to the Editor
- Tuesday hosts the weekly commissioning meeting where key story ideas (and ‘long leads’) for the week, Weekend + Sunday sections are discussed
- Monday is the best day to pitch ready for Tuesday’s meeting
- Saturday edition generally done by Wednesday / early Thursday
- Digital team interested in news stories of the day
- Every story needs to be pitched based on which reader it is relevant for
- The Telegraph has 8 reader types:
- Millennials, Family travels, Core Readers (empty nesters who have time and money), Luxury traveller, LGBTQ+, Adventure travellers, Solo travellers, Business travellers
- The Telegraph must create stories for each of these readers
- Age group is 18-80+
- Exclusives and embargoes are very important to The Telegraph
- Telegraph Competitors include: The Times, The FT, How To Spend It
- Lesser competitors include: Refinery29, Suitcase, Good Housekeeping, Women and Home
- The Telegraph highly values UK travel stories / features and it is a focus for them
- Emails: Need to sell the pitch in the subject heading otherwise will be lost Monday is the best day to pitch ready for Tuesday’s meeting
- Headlines are the most important part of the story.
- Relationship building is fundamental when working with The Telegraph
- Even if you email your one contact and it isn’t right for them, it will be passed on
- Tips for building relationships include meeting at events – the team are encouraged to go to events, so will be there
- A couple of months’ notice is needed for things like media dinners
- Press Trips: With press trips, the question asked Is “How is this going to benefit The Telegraph reader
- Tend not to go on trips when competitors are involved (see above for competitors)
- Sustainable Travel: Has gone from a “nice to have” to a must have
- The Telegraph wants to inspire readers to travel but also to educate them on how to reduce impact
- The Telegraph can’t ever guarantee a cover story or for coverage to be delivered on a Saturday or Sunday. The team will decide which day the coverage runs
- Emails: Subject is key. Strong top line. Has to mean something.
- Money mail will not write London centric stories. Interested in the national trend.
- Embargoes: They are helpful. Timeframe decision to do story or not.
- Relationships with key reporters and their interests is key.