In the hot seat:
Hugh Morris: Travel News Editor and Senior Content Editor at The Telegraph
- Hugh writes for both print and online.
- He spends five weeks of the year travelling – just his holiday allowance really. So the trip needs to be good.
- Reluctant to go on group trips.
- Hugh likes walking, mountains and history. Not a fan of beach holidays.
- Gentle follow up emails are great — don’t chase or badger, especially if your story is weak.
- Come armed with information if meeting up, wants to have a productive meeting.
- Rarely goes to evening events.
- Email is the best way to contact, doesn’t pick up the phone.
- Every morning by 8.30am a selection of travel ideas / stories are collected by Assistant Head of Travel.
- 10am: conference where writers pitch stories to the editor.
- Weekly commissioning meeting where key story ideas (and ‘long leads’) for the week, Weekend + Sunday sections are discussed are on Tuesdays.
- Saturday edition generally done by Wednesday / early Thursday at the latest.
- 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 more important than ever to The Telegraph.
- Telegraph competitors include: The Times, The FT, How To Spend It.
- Lesser competitors include: Refinery29, Suitcase, Good Housekeeping, Women and Home.
- UK stories are a priority for the paper.
- Emails: sell the pitch in the subject line otherwise will be lost. Monday is the best day to pitch ready for Tuesday’s meeting.
- Family travel does very well.
- 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
- If you have stats and figures, make sure they stand up.
- Press Trips: staff will question “How is this going to benefit The Telegraph reader?” If you can provide an answer, it’s more likely to get picked up.
- Sustainable Travel: The Telegraph doesn’t tell people how to behave. All travel, therefore, is permissible. They won’t be going flight-free.