May 11, 2009

How to Maximize a Press Trip

If I could only list 3…

1. Take notes in unusual situations
2. Interview that cool surfer dude
3. Think like your reader

1. Sure you had your note pad ready to go at the Sydney Opera house, but so did the rest of the world. You’re goal is to capture the real action. Sometimes the best parts of a press trip are when you’re dared to eat kangaroo, the bus driver plays a trick on everyone and you teach a bunch of foreigners how to play Kings. You’re probably too in the moment to think about documenting. It’s hard to do, but if you’re laughing or enjoying an experience, it’s probably worth writing down.

2. Who doesn’t like a good character? My strongest interviews stemmed from talking to real people that I thought were cool. Before I even thought about interviewing a subject, I asked myself whom I was absolutely dying to hear a story from. In this case, was it the student who went surfing for the first time or the surfer dude who sees tourists all over the world fall off their boards every day?

3. I’m fortunate to have a pretty awesome reader: college students. It’s important to always remember your audience. What does the student want to know? The top beers in Australia? Has anyone ever fallen on the bridge climb? How to hook up in a hostel and leave without an STI? Or D, all of the above?

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