The kids are more than alright
Many of today’s most senior members of newspaper or digital travel sections were relatively new names back when I embarked on an average PR career. That includes Lucy at the Independent, Sophie Lam at i, Laura Holt from Solo, Ben Ross of the Telegraph and the Times and Sunday Times’ superb Liz Edwards — but there are heaps more.
All of those writers were at different publications back then, and, potentially, were easily ignored in favour of the-then travel editors and deputy travel editors. Nowadays, however, they rank among the most premium contacts for a PR to have.
This underlines one very estimable motive for trying to strike up an early, good relationship with less senior members of sections: because they might one day head up said section, or that of a key rival.
Yet there are other motives as well. Chiefly – and in common with new additions to the section – greener staff members will simply be receiving fewer emails, meaning that your one stands much more chance of a receptive audience. You might even… get a reply. But let’s not get carried away.
Furthermore, most sections encourage all staff members to come up with ideas. Should your chosen recipient be young or new to the travel game, they might gladly adopt your own pitch as their own. Win win.
Ultimately, contacting only the travel media’s higher-ups is an easy mistake to make; they are the VIPs, after all. But they are VIPs who will be replaced or retired at some point, and then who will you have remaining as a close contact? No-one. Those juniors are the future, so best make them the present too.
What Richard Thinks…