Have you taken a press trip or been invited somewhere because you and your blog are awesome? Congrats! It’s a wonderful thing to be recognized for the hard work we put into our blogs, wouldn’t you agree? Press trips (or media trips) are some of the dopest perks of the blogging business but some have started to misuse the perk and make us look bad. Don’t be that blogger.
We are professionals. We are getting professional perks. Respect the industry and yourself by making sure you are following these 10 tips that can help you have a fabulous press trip and impress everyone around you!
- Be nice and don’t act entitled. sounds obvious but I’ve been on trips where bloggers had stank attitudes. Do not act entitled. You are being comped but that doesn’t mean you are the queen of the world. No amount of page views gives you the right to be a diva. You are not Beyonce and your page views and/or internet fame does not mean you are immune from decorum and decency.
- Be on time– if there are scheduled activities, please be on time. There is no reason to show up super late (you should actually be early). Showing up late is disrespectful and doesn’t show your professionalism. However, life happens and sometimes you may have to be late. If that’s the case, make sure to get in touch with whoever needs to know that you are running late and give them a heads up. It is super tacky to just show up way past the scheduled time and act like you’ve done nothing wrong.
- Don’t let friends and family post negative things on social media. This is something you MUST discuss with your friends and family before you start your trip. There may be things that go wrong and if and when they do, there is a way to handle them. Blasting the company that invited you is NOT the way to do it. I was on a trip once were someone’s guest went on a Twitter rant about how bad the service was in the restaurant. The brand saw those tweets (that were later deleted) and it made the blogger look bad. Don’t let that be you.
- Don’t make assumptions. If you’re bringing someone as your plus one, make sure to discuss what things will and won’t be comped. If you are inviting someone to share in your blogger perks, that’s wonderful. This often times means they will get free things because of your hard work. If this is the case, please make sure to discuss the things that you expect them to pay for. For instance, if I bring someone with me and they are being fully comped, I expect them to pay all tips. Why? Because I am the one doing the work and they can just enjoy the perks of my influence. Therefore, it is common sense to me that they should pay for tips. But, this is a conversation I would have BEFORE we get to our destination because it would be wrong for me to assume they think the same way as I do. If I don’t have the conversation and they don’t reach for their wallet to tip, can I blame them? Nope. So talk to your guests and get everything cleared up before you leave.
- Do NOT bring someone if you haven’t been told you can. If in doubt, ask. Many times our blogger perks mean we can bring someone with us to enjoy the experience. If you are allowed to bring one person, that doesn’t mean you can bring two people. Do not assume it will be ok if you bring an extra person. If you are in doubt as to if it’s ok, just ask.
- Make sure to tip. I have heard some bloggers say that if everything is paid for they see no need to tip. All the nopes. If you are being completely comped, that is even more reason for you to tip! You should tip the bartender, the valet, the housekeeper, the bellman, the concierge…anyone who would normally be tipped in whatever situation you are in.
7. take notes and pics. Don’t rely on your memory because it will fail you. Make sure to take notes on the things you are seeing, especially if the information is pertinent to the story you will be telling on your blog. Take your pics and make sure you get enough that will showcase whatever you are seeing in the best way. Do not rely on stock pictures (unless you have been asked to) and don’t be lazy. You are being paid or are being comped for a reason! They want to see things from YOUR perspective so always do your best and give the brand what they have contracted you for.
8. Know what is expected of you. Make sure expectations are clear. Do not take any trip without knowing exactly what you are supposed to do. Make sure to read your contract thoroughly (if you have one) and please be clear on any expectations the brand has of you. It is imperative you follow through on what you have promised to deliver and that you do it in the allotted time frame. If possible, under promise and over deliver, that will always make you look like a rock star blogger.
9. Don’t get drunk– I’m not even going to explain this one cause I shouldn’t have to explain to adults why getting drunk on a business trip is a bad idea. Do. Not. Get. Drunk. Drunk people look stupid (unless you’re Lucy, she’s the only one that can pull it off and get a laugh).
10. Adhere to any dress codes– Everyone has a different sense of what “casual” means. However, unless you are at a beach resort, there is probably no reason for you to be walking around in super short shorts and a cut off shirt or a shirt with obscene writing or gestures on it. And if you are told to dress up, that probably doesn’t mean jeans. Make sure to find out what is acceptable for the events you will be attending so you don’t end up looking unprofessional.
Here are a couple bonus tips for you.
Treat everyone you encounter with respect. One of my girlfriends went on a sponsored trip and after dealing with her the company told her, “Thank you for being so wonderful to work with. We had another blogger stay here with us and she wasn’t pleasant. She was very dismissive and demanding to the staff.” Please don’t be like that blogger. You should treat everyone you encounter from the janitor to the CEO with respect. It costs nothing to smile and be nice.
Don’t use a press trip as a vacation- While there is nothing wrong with enjoying your press trip, it is NOT a vacation. It is work and you must treat it as such. Therefore, if you are offered a trip that doesn’t match your brand but is in a fabulous location, do you take it? Nope. It would be disingenuous to do so. For instance, I don’t stay in hostels but I love Paris. Would I take a sponsored trip to Paris from a hostel? No, I wouldn’t. I have no desire to stay in a hostel and no desire to write about them so why would I take the trip, just because it’s in Paris? I wouldn’t and neither should you if the trip isn’t in harmony with what you do or believe as a blogger.