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Six Key Takeaways from PRSA’s Travel and Tourism Conference

DCI’s Janelle and Laura at this year’s PRSA 2017 Travel and Tourism Conference


This year the annual PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference ( was held in Palm Springs, California. The annual conference not only serves as a great networking opportunity but also provides PR pros and destination marketers with tools and tips for success. Since the conference took place in the backyard of our Los Angeles office, DCI’s Janelle Nazario and Laura Cyrille were able to attend, and offer the following key takeaways every PR pro, DMO and CVB should know and practice today.

  1. Draft the perfect pitch

Writing a pitch is a personal and creative process that differs for everyone. Whatever your style may be, it is imperative to keep in mind these four important aspects of a pitch, according to the editors who receive them:

  • Be a storyteller.
  • Stay on topic.
  • Surprise your reader.
  • Explain “Why now?”
  • Bonus tip: Never underestimate the power of humor and don’t be afraid to use it!


  1. Get to know the Canadian market

While many factors contribute to the diverse traveling habits of Canadians, one in particular should have marketing and PR professionals customizing their approach to these consumers. With the exchange rate of the loonie as low as it is now, Canadians are not necessarily traveling less but instead traveling smarter and budgeting accordingly. There are unique experiences only the U.S. can offer our neighbors to the north, so highlight those in deals and packages — and in your storytelling.

Learn more about preferences of Canadian media in DCI’s latest PR study here:


  1. Target digital influencers

Digital influencers are becoming more important across the industry, with consumers increasingly turning to digital and social media as a source of news. To effectively target and partner with digital influencers, destination marketers should be sure to:

  • Vet each opportunity: Most influencers are happy to provide stats and metrics of their platform’s reach.
  • Seek recommendations: To further vet the opportunity, request a list of recent DMOs/CVBs the influencer has worked with who can speak about the partnership.
  • Understand the influencer’s audience: Influencers are viewed as experts in their specific niches. Make sure you understand each influencer’s audience and posting style, and be sure that the opportunity makes sense for the audience and will be seen as authentic.


  1. Leverage industry relationships

Among travel marketers, friendly competition for destination exposure is natural. However, partnering with a local CVB, airline or hotel can yield greater results for your initiative. Partnerships not only allow for shared expenses — generating stronger return on investment — but also provide opportunities for hosted media to experience the destination more fully, creating the potential for more in-depth coverage as a result.


  1. Customize each experience

A one-size itinerary does not fit all. Understanding the journalist/influencer you’re hosting, even in a group FAM, allows you to provide a VIP experience. Each journalist/influencer is looking for a “scoop” — providing unique experiences that have not already been extensively covered will go a long way toward improving results.


  1. Establish balance in your life and you’ll be more productive

Samantha Ettus, work/life balance expert and best-selling author, held a keynote presentation speaking to PR pros and destination marketers who understand the challenge of work/life balance. Ettus stressed the importance of making your life a priority. Being a well-rounded and more productive professional starts with having a healthy balance among various aspects of your life, also known as the seven slices of pie: career, family, friends, relationships, health, community and hobbies. Investing enough time in each of these slices will lead to a happier and more productive life. Never allow guilt or the desire for perfection keep you from investing time in yourself.

Join the conversation! If you attended the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference, share some of your key takeaways by tweeting us @aboutdci.

Written By

Janelle McKinsey

Janelle is the Account Director in the DCI Los Angeles office. With a background in media relations, she enjoys story telling and is fortunate enough to do so within the exciting world of travel.

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