Blog Author Profile
We’ve all seen the links.
“We say goodbye to Kelly Ripa!” or “American Icon Clint Eastwood gone too soon!”
We know they’re not true, but how many of us click on them anyway out of sheer curiosity, just to see what crazy things the interwebs have to say that day?
That’s exactly what the folks who wrote those misleading links want you to do. They’ll say whatever it takes to get a user to click, because – sadly – it works.
These are the shysters who give “click-bait” a bad name, which is a terrible thing. Because when utilized correctly to deliver the content promised, attention-grabbing link text is a beautiful thing – an incredibly effective marketing tool that gets your content seen by the people who want it.
As a Senior Content Director at Miles, my work helping destinations tell their compelling stories often puts me in the market for strong freelance writers – a search that usually leads me to former newspaper reporters.
There’s no question the traditional newspaper industry as we know it is struggling, so it’s easy to see why reporters might be looking for extra work. But what is it about a journalist that makes him or her a particularly good storyteller when it comes to travel writing – or any type of content creation, for that matter?
You can attribute that to the same tenants of journalism they follow when reporting the news.
“Long before the advent of search engines, journalists were perfecting the craft of dynamic, interesting and informative content that could capture wide audiences,” the editors at Prose Media wrote in a...
In this era of “fake news” (how is that even a thing?) it’s now more important than ever for destinations to ensure the information they’re sharing with potential visitors is as accurate as possible. Sure, businesses close and phone numbers change – consumers understand that. But nothing will damage your credibility faster than publishing “official” travel guides and websites riddled with untrustworthy information.
And we’re not talking about easy-to-spot problems like misspelled words or misplaced commas, but actual information that is flat-out wrong. You’d be surprised how often we see it, which is why content at Miles goes through a rigorous, independent fact-checking process even after it has been approved by our teams, our clients and all other parties involved.
When the professionals at Miles brainstorm new product concepts for our destination partners, we consider several factors before landing on the recommendations we ultimately present. The most up-to-date travel research, the latest marketing trends, our own forward-thinking ideas and – most importantly – our client’s overall goals all play a critical role in this process.
And when all of those planets align, the results are pretty stellar. That’s exactly what happened when Miles recently published a groundbreaking new state travel guide for Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.
As a former news reporter who once worked in a high-stress, fast-paced, you-better-not-get-scooped environment, I sometimes laugh (just a little) at the deadlines I face as a travel content director these days. “We need a story on the best five best craft breweries in the state,” a client might say, “and we need it within the next month!”
Are you kidding me with this? I used to research, report and write multiple stories every day – sometimes in as little as 15 minutes, just to make sure we made the next press run and “got the story” before anyone else.
And while the constant buzz of that newsroom seems worlds away now, some of the basic lessons journalism taught me still very much apply in the world of travel marketing. So when your own content needs seem overwhelming, remember these four key takeaways from the world of “old school” journalism that...