6 Benefits of Paid Media Partnerships in Canada

February 22, 2023
Close-up of two men in dress shirts shaking hands in front of the Canadian flag.

The editorial pool in Canada isn’t what it was before the pandemic, making paid media partnerships all the more important. There are fewer publications and fewer opportunities to land organically earned media coverage. Competition is fierce for earned coverage and the growing pool of freelancers is finding it harder to place stories.

In-flight magazines are fewer than ever, though Air Canada’s enRoute has survived the cull! The point is, landing placements is more challenging than ever, despite the limitlessness of digital publications.

While earned editorial became harder to secure, paid editorial partnerships in Canada are rising up as viable ways to land your destination editorial coverage with a bit more control. Whether it’s a print publication, a website, or even a television spot, this approach is a powerful way to reach Canadian travelers ith stories. Yet it’s not just like paying for an ad. Let’s explain…

1. Celebrate Symbiosis
First, it’s imperative to realize and emphasize that paid media partnerships are guaranteed revenue for media outlets and essential to help support publications as they recuperate. Consider a paid media partnership in Canada an investment in a healthier working relationship with Canadian editors and publishers.  It’s also a way for destinations to help steer the narrative while strengthening relationships with top tier editors.

2. Geo-Target Audiences
When considering a paid media partnership, it’s important not to try and speak to everyone, especially in a large, diverse nation like Canada. Sounds counterintuitive, right? Keeping a tight focus on who you are speaking to – those on the west coast, those in major cities, those within a 1-hour drive of a certain airport – is a key way to reach the most receptive audiences.

A paid media partnership in a national newspaper may not be the best way to reach those nestled in the middle of the country. Research who is consuming what and direct your efforts towards publications that speak to those you want to reach most.

3. Two Languages are Better than One
It’s easy to forget that so many Canadian travelers speak French. Understanding their behaviors, what they look for, and what they need when traveling requires knowing this particular segment. Research into French-speaking Canadian consumers is the first step to aligning your paid editorial partnership with these travelers.

Dive into relevant research to help reach out to French-speaking publications and tailor your message accordingly. Then, work with a native speaker, if you don’t have one, to reach out and negotiate a paid media partnership with a top Canadian publication, digital or otherwise.

4. Target Your Message
While reaching the right audience is key, a paid media partnership in Canada also requires selecting the right messaging. The tighter and more focused the message is, the more organic the placement will feel.

Not all Canadians are the same. Generic messaging that simply invites people to visit your destination will read more like an advertisement than more subtle and influential content. Focus on specific assets or specific types of travel – think culinary, adventure, family – and plant a better seed in audiences’ minds.

5. Raise Your Voice
A paid media partnership in Canada is a chance to give a voice – literally – to your destination. Bring in a local business leader or a member of your leadership to provide a quote for a publication or an on-site interview for video content. Stories with characters are always more interesting than stories without, and a paid media partnership is the perfect chance to showcase the amazing people working for your destination’s success.

6. Drive Engagement with Social
A paid media partnership in Canada doesn’t stop with the initial article. It might seem obvious, but it bears repeating. Maximize story reach with social drivers. Being sure that the publication pushes out the article on their socials helps boost your reach and betters the chances that potential visitors will absorb the destination’s messaging placed in the publication. Remember, this is a paid partnership and there should be an expectation that the article will be socialized.

Interested in exploring paid media partnerships in Canada? DCI has more than 60 years of connecting destinations to Canadian media to promote themselves. Get in touch with Tania Kedikian at [email protected] to learn more.

Written by

Tania Kedikian

Account Director