The optimal press-trip notice period
Across March and April, I’ll be going on six trips to places in the UK or, in one case, Belgium.
While some of these are still being finalised, their respective dates were all blocked out by mid-February, and the initial commissions secured in the first half of January.
I say all this because I have received quite a few invites in the past month for press trips departing less than six weeks ahead. Some have sounded good, other less up my street — but all have been straight-up impossible due to the above already being planned. And I can imagine that’s true for the other desirable travel freelancers out there, as well as for desk-based staff who usually need to book leave (which press trips count as) quite far ahead.
The clear answer, then, is to give a few months’, not weeks’, notice on press trips.
Especially in spring, which is peak season for press trips (in order to get copy out by summer).
“Pah!” I hear you say. “Fat chance of that!” I hear you snort. Because you’d love to: it’s just that clients delay and delay, perhaps needing to balance their business obligations, only to then expect the world from you on a short turnaround. In my PR days I actually never had a single client who arranged an all-media press trip, but I saw exasperated colleagues have this exact headache.
So what to do? Maybe you could show the clients this newsletter. In black and white terms, it’s most unlikely that I’ll be able to even consider a press trip if it’s departing in less than two months’ time. My diary will probably be full. Instead, three or four months’ warning is optimal. If a client gives you that long, they’ll likely attract a much better line-up.
What Richard Thinks…