Trying to get your client mentioned (and linked to) from big sites like the Daily Mail or Telegraph is a challenge, and for the travel niche it’s no different.

It can be difficult to know what journalists are looking for, and even more difficult to make your pitch stand out when there is quite literally a whole world of possible content relating to holidays and travel.

We’ve looked at some of the top online nationals (and their travel sections), to find out what the most popular types of travel content are – both overall and split by publication. Not only will this help when planning your next campaign strategy, but it’ll guide your approach when pitching in your story to different publications too.

Five most popular types of travel content

Destination guides and top lists are useful for readers whether they want inspiration before they book, or more detail on a specific location. So, it’s no wonder our analysis highlights these as being the most popular types of content in travel.

On the other side of the scale, celebrity, quiz and opinion pieces all seem to take a back seat as our research shows advice and location stories are more likely to be covered by the national’s travel sections.

The list below shows the most used forms of content by travel journalists, including their share of the conversation shown as a percentage.

  1. Destination specific articles (17%)

Destination articles refer to pieces that focus on a specific location, acting as a guide to readers. Think along the lines of “things to do in…” and “ultimate guide to…”.

Tip: If you’re pitching ideas like this to journalists, great! Just bear in mind that they write a lot of this type of content so yours will need to stand out. Putting a creative twist into your campaign like this destination article did can make an impact and encourage better media placements.

Best sites to contact: Travel Mail and The Times

  1. Top lists (16%)

If you work in digital you’ve probably suggested ‘top list’ style content to your clients at one point or another and that’s because it works! Though it doesn’t feel like the most creative option, it’s the second most popular type of travel content featured by the nationals.

Tip: Pitching your campaign in this format could really increase the chances of getting pick up.

If you’ve been struggling to get the attention of journalists with your campaign as it is, try rewriting your press release into a list format and see if this helps. Our research suggests it’s worth a shot.

Best sites to contact: Mirror and Telegraph

  1. Travel news (15%)

Travel news is our umbrella term for articles covering industry news and travel ‘firsts’. These are often not campaign based but do include brands from time to time, so you could argue there is some cross over between this and the “brands” category.

The popularity of “travel news” with nationals could provide an opportunity to get your brand featured.  Whether that’s asking the journalist to feature a link to your press centre if they cover company news, or by using experts within the business to comment on other things happening in the industry. Have your say on how the news will affect the industry. Or even how it will affect your client’s customers.

Tip: Make the most out of things your client is already doing that could be deemed ‘news worthy’. This can be a quick win as there is little cost involved if the brand is already doing it. In fact, it’s likely all you’ll need is a well written press release and a few hours to send this out to press. For tips on writing a press release I’d recommend reading the Branded3 blog.

Best sites to contact: Travel Mail and Independent

  1. Attractions (13%)

We all want to know what sights and attractions we should see when visiting a new place, and our research seems to show that the quirkier the suggestion the better for gaining press coverage.

Tip: The more unusual the attraction, the better. If you’re able to jump on a current trend too then journalists will love this. There’s often certain destination trends and predictions each year, so keep an eye out for which places are up and coming as its likely there has been little coverage on the location and its attractions previously. Meaning you can get in first with your story.

Best sites to contact: Travel Mail and Guardian

  1. News articles (7%)

This refers to announcements, scandals and general news that loosely link to travel. These are often stories which have a negative side to them, so as PRs we’d want to avoid coverage like this. However, it’s important to know what’s happening with our brand and its people and then to respond appropriately. Should negative press occur you’ll want a crisis team internally who can decide the best course of action and whether the situation requires a response or not.

Tip: Monitoring your coverage is key to make sure you can spot negative stories quickly. A few tools we use here at Branded3 to keep track of online coverage include Google Alerts, Buzzsumo Alerts and social listening tool Crimson Hexagon. All of which mean we stay up to date on what’s happening with the brands we represent and their competitors.

Best sites to contact: The Sun and Mirror

Most popular and least popular travel content split by publication

As part of our analysis, we’ve also revealed the most used content type for each publication. This is great for deciding where your campaign is best suited to. For example, top lists are perfect for the Mirror, but avoid selling these in to the Guardian as they appear to prefer ideas around specific types of tourist attractions.

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