News & Views

How to Pitch: Budget Travel

Whitney TresselTravel editorial in North America continues to evolve from basic print to digital platforms. Budget Travel magazine has made this transition, going online-only with a digital magazine and BudgetTravel.com. Today, digital editor Kaeli Conforti shares how this shift affects her editorial needs. Originally from Queens, New York, Kaeli grew up in Hawaii and Florida before moving back to the Big Apple in 2011. Her writing has appeared on BudgetTravel.com and CNN Travel, Fox News Travel, NBC News Travel, Yahoo! Travel and Huffington Post Travel websites.

Share with us the evolution of Budget Travel from print publication to digital destination for travel information.

Arthur Frommers’ Budget Travel magazine began in the 1990s. It had a series of owners during that time – NC2 Media being the most recent. In my four years we’ve always had the magazine—whether in print or digital format (available via iPad, Kindle, Nook, and online via NxtBook)—as well as BudgetTravel.com. Website content is created for our email newsletters that are distributed twice a week to more than 500,000 subscribers.

What role does social media play at Budget Travel?

We use social media to share our stories, to interact with our audience and promote engagement. We’ll post questions and create inspirational slide shows that feature the answers we receive. This “social media slide show” adds to the mix of our regular how-to stories and round-ups based on what’s seasonal and trending.

We’ve grown our social media presence organically, and now have four million+ followers on Pinterest, 137K+ on Twitter, and 53K+ on Facebook. Our Instagram is pretty new with 6.6K Instagram followers and growing.

Should PR professionals incorporate social media ready content in their pitches to you (i.e. tweets, image galleries etc)?

We love having ready-to-tweet snippets mixed in with pitches, and always appreciate a photo or two to post with it or to run with the story. Links to galleries or just a few really good photos to choose from are great! We also love it when our content is re-tweeted and shared—we usually tag any relevant DMOs, hotels, tour operators etc. we mentioned when posting links on social media.

In your opinion, what is the future of travel editorial in today’s digital environment?                 

People are always going to want to travel and we’re here to help them have a wonderful, meaningful travel experience affordably. Going forward, I think people will continue to turn to opinion-based sites like TripAdvisor and to see what their friends say about the places on social media. We’re already seeing that.

People are using social media to help plan their vacations, creating boards on Pinterest dedicated to the places they want to visit, and posting photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter during and after their travels to show friends and family they’ve been.

Travelers will still use travel editorial as a starting and reference point for places to check out along the way and for tips they might not find elsewhere.

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