A renewed appreciation for travel agents, travel consultants and experts is the silver lining of all the bad news travel stories hitting the airwaves lately. In fact, it’s probably fair to say more pro-travel agent pieces have been distributed by the press in the first two months of 2012 than in all of 2011.
In addition to the dozens of articles and segments in local papers and on local TV stations, major publishing outlets like Forbes, CNN, the New York Times and NBC’s “Today” show also have shown the agency industry some love.
But while reading these articles or watching the “Today” clip should be an ego-booster for any travel agent, their true value lies in their ability to convince the public that travel agents still have value in today’s society.
That means travel sellers need to be taking advantage of them as marketing resources.
Here are a few ideas on how to use them:
1. Post positive press on Facebook. Pretty self-explanatory, no?
2. Put articles on your physical and/or digital storefront window. If you’ve got an actual storefront window, tape the articles there so passersby can read them. If you don’t have a physical storefront, put them on your virtual one. Don’t just post a link; make a PDF of the pages or a “print screen” image and put that up. That way people can read them without leaving your website.
3. Blog about the good news. Put a link to one or more of the articles or “Today” clip on your blog, then expand on how you fit into the theme.
4. Do your own a live Q&A. Suggest to your local library or branch of a national community group (Elks, Rotary Club, Kiwanis) that you present the “Today” clip and follow it up with a live Q&A, so people can ask about what you can do for them.
5. Replicate the “Today” episode. Contact your local TV or radio station, or even the local high school TV station, and tell them about the national media attention travel agents have been getting. Offer yourself as a subject for a local version of the national news stories.
Have you got other ideas? Feel free to leave a comment, sharing your thoughts and suggestions for how to make the most of positive press favoring the travel agency community.