Travel trends with Sarah Hartley at The Mail On Sunday

Home PR Insights Travel trends with Sarah Hartley at The Mail On Sunday

Table of Content

Table of Contents

In the hot seat:

Sarah Hartley: Travel Editor at The Mail On Sunday

Sarah’s Focus:

  • She Travel desk is Sarah Hartley. No one else on the desk
  • Each week Sarah has 6 pages a week to fill.
  • 5 travel supplements a year – 32 pages each. January (x2); May; October; x1 Cruise
  • Commissions writers for a story on a case by case basis. Don’t pitch to the freelancer
  • Sarah is mainly desk bound but loves meeting PRs for coffee
  • 8:30-10:30 is a bad time to contact due to 9.30am MoS conference
  • Doesn’t mind phone calls
  • Will go to client events if relevant and has been given enough warning (3 months +)

Travel Focus:

  • The Mail on Sunday reader: loves food and drink, over the age of 50 and either travelling with their family or alone, is affluent, active, and will be spending £3,000 plus on holidays. Will travel 3 – 4 times a year, they love travelling in the UK – “Great British Boltholes” runs every week
    • The reader is not excited by exclusives as they prefer tried and tested
    • 1 in 3 cruises are booked via the travel section
    • Escorted tours are very popular and the reader loves art, history, culture, food and drink.
    • Readers want to make sure tourism is responsible – big interest in the environment
  • The weekend pages are a bright shot of inspiration for readers.
    • Skiing is being reintroduced to the paper
    • Sarah is making sure it is truly global and covers everywhere
  • Travel stories tie in with the weather and the climate
    • Earliest Christmas stories will be run is when the clocks go back
  • Consumer focussed and celebrity travel stories are off limits
  • Cost or price of a holiday is not required

Top Tips:

  • Paper goes to print on Friday for Sunday
  • All print content goes online – separate entities and Ted Thornhill looks after all online content
  • From about 10pm on Saturday night, all Sunday travel content is uploaded online
  • Sarah reads every email she is sent – relies heavily on PRs
  • Sarah works about 12 weeks ahead and likes to line each story up so that she knows what is going on in advance
  • Sarah asks herself “Would I send my friends or family there?” before going ahead with a commission
  • Press releases should be kept uncomplicated and simple. Let the initial intro tell the story and leave it to 3 – 4 lines
  • If the pitch is right, she will say from the beginning and will tell PRs what the title of the piece will be
  • Images are important as help visualisation

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