How to Pitch: Caleigh Alleyne, Broadcast Travel Expert and Travel WriterOctober 10, 2018
If you’re a travel PR pro who works in the Canada market, then you need to know Caleigh Alleyne. She is a highly sought-after bilingual travel writer and travel expert that appears on broadcast television.
Based in Toronto, Ontario, Caleigh enjoys telling stories from far-away places to Canadian audiences, inspiring them to check those seemingly out-of-reach places off of their bucket lists. She caught the travel bug after living in Switzerland for an exchange program in university and has been exploring ever since – 37 countries and counting.
In 2015, the French Tourism Board selected Caleigh as one of the top four anglophone travel bloggers in Canada to participate in the “Festive France Blogger Competition.” Since then, she has continued her writing in such notable publications as Country Living, Flare, Good Housekeeping, Reader’s Digest and Travel + Leisure. She also appears regularly on Breakfast Television Toronto, The Marilyn Denis Show and The Social.
We chatted with Caleigh about how tourism media relations professions can best work with her as a travel writer to garner editorial coverage for their destination.
1. What elements influence whether or not you read a PR pitch?
This depends on how tailored they are to me and the outlets to which I contribute. A stock round-up or mass-distributed release is great for reference and context, and I read every email that comes into my inbox. But whether I respond or am able to pass ideas along to my producers or editors depends on if it’s something unique and I can make a case for why it is worth assigning a story.
2. What should a publicist consider when they pitch you a travel/tourism-related story idea for broadcast versus print? How do you determine which outlet is best suited for each opportunity?
For broadcast, think about how to market the destination visually. Think of how an audience in that market might travel to that destination and what key features will spark their attention. You usually only get a few minutes on air to share information on a destination or topic, so you really need to master that 30-second elevator pitch on why viewers should care or focus their attention on this destination.
3. What types of story ideas excite you personally — and motivate you to pursue them further?
I love to share great travel stories. I prefer to help promote entrepreneurs or family-run businesses or share ideas on how we can all learn to become a better traveller by travelling more sustainably and respectfully.
4.What has been your most memorable travel/tourism assignment?
My most memorable travel assignment was my first one as a journalist visiting Martinique. I had the opportunity to travel with some great journalists and PR professionals with whom I’ve remained friends.
5.Name one to two trends that you see evolving the tourism industry.
I think a trend that has been around for a while is that luxury-for-less idea. How can you save and splurge in different areas of your vacation and make it fit your budget as well as check off what you want to see? Saving, maybe, on accommodations and splurging on meals.
Another trend that I’m in full support of is eco-friendly and sustainable resorts trying to lower their carbon footprint through travel.
6. How do you use social media as a resource for story ideas?
Especially in travel, it is a great lens into where real travellers are going and what they’re interested in exploring. I find it way more helpful to look at my friends’ posts or profiles of people not in the industry versus influencers because they are a better indication of the destinations that real travellers are interested in and the types of travel people are looking to experience. This also helps me to craft better destination-based segments based on their interest and try to resonate with the average traveller
7. As a travel writer, what’s your favourite destination, and where are you off to next?
It’s really tough to just pick one destination. If it’s for beach time, I’d opt to go to Barbados and visit my family at the same time. For a city, I love Europe and exploring Scandinavian spots like Copenhagen and Denmark. And in Canada, I can never say no to going to British Columbia and exploring that province more. (Destination marketing pros in these locations – take notice! You’ve just been handed a media lead from an amazing travel writer!)