There was a time when you’d offer the best trips to a journalist from a ‘national newspaper’. For those journalists who’d worked their way up to a job on Fleet Street, life was all about accepting and rejecting the juiciest trips. (OK. There was more to their jobs but that was all they talked about when you met them).
Not anymore. When our client, Tourism Northern Territory asked us to recruit a couple of journalists to attend one of the quirkiest events in their annual calendar, the Darwin Beer Can Regatta, we had no hesitation in suggesting a couple of bloggers instead.
In true Ozzie style, the event is open to anyone who can make a boat out of beer cans that will then get them across the Darwin Harbour.
Other events in NT’s calendar include the Henley On Todd Regatta, a race down a dry river bed (that was cancelled one year because it contained water), the Camel Cup Race and an event dedicated to beanie hats. (You can probably guess why we love working for them).
We invited key opinion leaders Abigail King and Isabelle Kenis out to Darwin. Both are acknowledged bloggers with their own blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. All their social media platforms are interlinked, to ensure the highest levels of engagement and impact.
But check out these stats.
Abigail’s blog Inside Travel Lab gets 31,000 monthly page views. She’s also a guest blogger for Lonely Planet’s website which gets 4.3 million visitors per month. Abigail has two twitter accounts; one linked up to her blog @insidetravellab which has 7,175 followers and her own person twitter account – @abigailking – with 6,744 followers. In addition to twitter and her blogs, she also has a dedicated Facebook page for Inside the Travel Lab which has 1,895 fans to date.
And it is at events like these where blogging really comes into its own. Abigail and Isabelle were able to share their experience through their social media platforms in almost real time.
The level of conversation that this generated was pretty impressive too. During their time in the Northern Territory, Isabelle and Abigail posted a total of 70 tweets and 22 Facebook posts. Together, they reached an audience estimated at over 250,000. That’s the same daily circulations for ‘The Times’ and ‘Daily Telegraph’ combined.
Will we invite a journalist from a national newspaper again? Yes of course. As long as the publication offers a good fit with our clients’ target audience and they promise not to brag about it.