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

Top Tips:

  • 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.

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