Showing posts from 2015

So you want to host a travel journalist

Travel journalists, more than ever these days, come in all shapes and sizes. We have our share of prima donnas, snobs and princes/princesses, but the majority of genuine travel journalists just want to get the job done responsibility and respectfully.

The new wave of social media practitioners means that there is an even wider range of skill sets, personalities and experience all requiring their own considerations for PR hosts.

The Australian Society of Travel Writers, where I have been a member for more than a decade, have issued their own guidelines for PRs wishing to host media.

If you have your own observations or advice, we'd love to hear from you. Please comment below.

Related story: PR and Media Survey

What the Top Ten overused travel cliches really mean

If you ask me, travel writing is supposed to be informative and entertaining. You either read it for a bit of fun and maybe a giggle, or for serious research into your next holiday that you've scrimped and saved for all year. It doesn't help if every place you read about is described by the same dull and repetitious words. Chances are the place is as equally dull and unremarkable.

If you're a travel writer, copywriter or public relations scribe, then you are forever dipping into the lexicon of adjectives and adverbs trying to find a new twist on an old subject. Trotting out the same old tripe is not going to impress anyone anymore.

Here are some of the most popular and overused cliches in the travel writing business and what they probably really mean. I've included some real life examples for your entertainment. Why change the names? They wrote it.

Luxury - we make the beds and do the cooking.

Luxury and 'luxurious' are constantly changing and relative terms.…

Downloading High Resolution Images from Flickr

In order for this process to work successfully, this presumes you have been granted permission by the Flickr account owner to access the high res images.

Click any of the images below to enlarge.

Sending images and graphic files across the Internet - how to get it right.

Holy jumpin' JPEGs Batman!

Anyone who has tried to get or send images has faced this dilemma.

What file type is best?

What's the difference anyway? Tiff, Gif, Biff! who cares?

Truth is, there is a world of difference in the various file types and no quicker way to send an editor into a psychotic fury than give him or her the wrong one on deadline.

Here's a quick-and-dirty rundown of the most common image file types and where it's best to use them.


Named after the Joint Photographic Experts Group who created this standard of photographic computer file which first appeared on computers back in the early '90s.

It's really clever because when you create the file (either in the camera or with computer software) you can specify how much compression (quality) you think you need. On a scale of 1-100, 100 being virtually no compression and super quality.

JPEGs (.jpg or .jpeg) files travel really well over email and file transfer. You can have really big images (in p…

In search of the world's last pristine seas

Still excited after just returning from three weeks aboard the newly-refitted National Geographic Orion travelling into the remote South Pacific in search of the last remaining pristine reefs on the planet.

In 2009, a small group of National Geographic researchers and scientists headed to the Southern Line Islands of Kiribati to investigate what was reputed to be the last truly pristine reefs left in the world.

Marine ecologist and National Geographic Fellow Enric Sala called the reefs of the southern Line Islands Shark Eden.

"They may be the most pristine coral reefs left on the planet," he said.

The result was the acclaimed video documentary "Shark Eden"

I was fortunate to be invited by Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic to travel with them on the first commercial voyage to the region to see this submarine wonderland for myself and I can tell you I will never look at another reef the same again.

The voyage began in Fiji and culminated in Tahiti and also in…

PR and Media Survey - You must read this

If you are a Public Relations person communicating with the media (travel and lifestyle in particular) then the results of this survey might startle you. See what your media pals are saying about you and the way you communicate. Are you turning them on or turning them off?

If you're a journalist and would like to contribute to the 2015 survey, the bi-annual PitchIt2Me media survey targets hundreds of international journalists, asking them what does and doesn’t turn them on professionally.

2014: another 'Annus Horribilis'?

It's that time of year again when many us get all introspective and philosophical.

When I pontificated about 2013 this time last year, it was with some optimism about the year ahead. But now, 12 months later, I think I got off lightly.

Apart from a bit of a health scare for me mid-year and one for my daughter when her appendix went postal in January, 2014 was comparatively uneventful when I consider all the other events both private and public that made last year one to forget.

So many close friends and colleagues had to dig deep into their emotional resources just to get through. Parents, loved ones, spouses and dear friends were all called up to the great beyond in a year that one is tempted to repeat Her Majesty's 1992 phrase: 'Annus Horribilis'.

We can't possibly imagine what those close to events like MH370, MH17, TNA222 and now QZ8501 are going through. With 18 major events in all, 2014 was not a great year for aviation. Even as I write this news of another …