Now one year removed from college, I can safely say Travel Public Relations is not your “average” desk job. Professors and colleagues alike always stressed the need to expect the unexpected, balance multiple deadlines, and communicate effectively, which are crucial to the profession. However, along the way, I’ve learned certain things cannot be taught fully, but rather must be taught through experience.

When I tell people I’m in Public Relations, many outside our industry assume I’m constantly writing, pitching, and editing at my desk without hesitation. While persuasive and concise writing is a crucial part of our success, there is much more outside the office that is arguably as important.

1.Experiencing Our Products Firsthand – Promoting our destinations, hotels, and clients is the backbone of our work. Our overarching task is to gain publicity for our clients to ultimately help drive sales and “put heads in beds.” The ability to accurately reflect and portray our clients is what drives travelers to them. While a lot of information can be attained from websites, client press releases, and imagery – experiencing these destinations adds the element of passion and authenticity. Being able to look back on previous memories from a media immersion trip adds a personal touch that goes a long way. I still vividly recall an immersion trip to Providence in November 2017 that pushed me out of my comfort zone and got me to try something I long avoided on menus: seafood. The restaurant “Oberlin” is praised for having some of the best seafood in the Northeast. I knew I’d be doing myself a disservice passing on the opportunity, after all a big reason to travel is to try new things! Not only did I have one of the best meals of my life, but by experiencing the food, the atmosphere and even meeting the friendly staff, it’s now something I can pitch with authority and excitement. Spoiler: Order the Raw Scup with olives and chili and you’ll thank me later!

2. Building Media Relations – The ability to consistently grow your professional network is an important skill to never overlook. An email correspondence or phone call certainly makes an impact, however face-to-face interactions always leave the strongest impressions. Top tier journalists receive thousands of emails daily, leading to a lot of deleted or missed messages. The courtesy of a coffee, lunch, dinner, or cocktail is not only appreciated, but it puts a face to the name. Realizing you have a connection as simple as being a fan of the same baseball team or having traveled to the same city, does wonders for building a new relationship. Being personable, well spoken, and taking an interest in others creates a formidable reputation. If a journalist knows you on a personal level, it will ultimately lead to more of your emails getting answers, more respect and better relationships throughout the industry. Just like PR people have their list of “naughty media,” I can only imagine the lists journalists have of the PR people that have proven themselves ineffective. Breaking through and starting those relationships can be tough, but it definitely doesn’t start by simply sending emails from a desk all day.

3. Advancements in Technology – The continued development of smartphones and ability to work on the move has the industry seemingly never stopping. You’re always on and with smartphones, we’re seemingly never more than an arm’s length away from being able to write a pitch, respond to an inquiry or track town the next social media influencer. While it would previously seem taboo to talk on the phone while sharing a car with a journalist or client, it’s now the norm to check emails, scan Twitter for major news or handle any troubleshooting for other clients. Even texting is becoming mainstream to correspond with journalists or clients, something that may have been considered unprofessional years prior. While it’s unlikely the action of writing press releases or reports will fully transition to smartphones, the ability to communicate outside the office and outside standard office hours has never been stronger.

4. No Day is The Same – The last thing I wanted coming out of college was a job that would be redundant, mundane, and predictable. While the familiarity and comfort of a steady routine may appease some, it was something I, and as I’ve learned many of my colleagues, strived to stay away from. Polling the staff, it seems everyone has a “you’re not going to believe this” moment – whether it was a clothes shopping detour while escorting a former Rockstar on desksides through Manhattan, waving client signs outside The Today Show that resulted in a selfie with Hoda Kotb or even the contest of “most bizarre places you’ve pitched from” (the top of a ski lift in Santa Fe and on a snorkeling boat in the Caribbean topped the list), this is a job that is filled with unexpected, yet exciting moments. Going to college in a suburban New Jersey town for four years without the chance to study abroad led me to purse a career that would open my eyes to travel. After all, hearing tales of my mother’s days as a flight attendant for TWA airlines engrained my desire to travel at a young age (ironically my Father has never left North America). Of course, like any job there are stretches of working from the desk, however we are blessed to have so many travel opportunities at the root of our careers.


5. The Chance to “Bleisure” – The idea of “bleisure” was a foreign concept to me prior to joining Lou Hammond Group. For many years, you would hear flight attendants or hotel workers ask travelers if they were traveling for “business” or “leisure.” The convenience of laptops, tablets, and smartphones has recently allowed us to work efficiently from coffee shops, libraries, parks, etc., when travel arises. If timing is on your side, you may even be able to leave home for both business and leisure, hence “bleisure.” I was fortunate enough to make this work recently by extending a visit to Boston after conducting business in Providence. We all got into this industry with a common love of travel, so it would be a shame not to capitalize on that. The more places we see, foods we eat and cultures we learn to understand, the larger understanding of the world we’re able to have. Plus, you never know when a destination you visit for leisure may eventually become a future client.

There’s plenty of days that are spent working at the office, and there’s nothing like a great brainstorm with colleagues, but the best part of this industry is that it’s going to continue to evolve. The industry is not the same as it was in 2008 and I doubt it will be in 2028. However, no matter how technology expands and varying methods of communication become the norm, standard PR practices such as thank you notes and face-to-face contact will always be in trend.