Useful networking resources for travel writers

Whether you're just starting our or you've been in the industry a while, at least a few of these resources will help you in some way.

I use these tools on a daily basis, either for story ideas, general information, to find PRs or recruit writers, so I hope you find some use in them too.

1. TravMedia UK

This is probably the single most useful network you can join as a travel journalist. It gives you access to a huge number of travel PRs, tourist board representatives and travel writers and editors throughout the industry.

TravMedia has a number of good features (profiles, personal travel news, logging stories you've had published), but the most useful include the daily digest of news from the industry, a function that allows you to send out requests/alerts to PRs (if you're looking for support for a trip and you've got a commission, this is really handy) and a function that allows editors to send out requests to journalists for content on specific themes or destinations (these are rare, due to the high volume of responses editors get, but they do sometimes happen and can lead to commissions).

They also hold regular networking events where a travel sponsor (tour operator, tourist board or PR company) provides nibbles, drinks and prizes for a draw so journalists and PRs can get together to talk shop, and their annual International Media Marketplace (IMM) event, which is essentially speed dating but for business. Read my guide to making the most of IMM here.

2. Gorkana

Gorkana is a service organisations use to manage their brands and reputations online. They hold an enormous database of journalists and publications, and send out daily media alerts with news on who's working where (including contact details) – an invaluable resource for building your contact list of editors.

They'll also send out media requests on your behalf, so you can request information or support or interviewees from their database of relevant travel PRs.

They also have a jobs board here.

3. Facebook groups

If you're not too precious about keeping your Facebook for personal interactions only, joining groups like Freelance Journalists UK or JournoAnswers gives you access to a whole forum of travel writers and journalists in other industries.

The Freelance Journalists UK group hold occasional AMAs (ask me anything) sessions with editors, and the group is a generally supportive and helpful environment.

Writers identifying as female can request to join the Travel Writers of the Binder, and the excellent No 1 Freelance Ladies Buddy Agency.

4. British Guild of Travel Writers yearbook

This book, which costs a princely sum if you're not a member (for whom it's free), is probably somewhat of a last resort. Most editors and PRs can be found online through the mediums I've listed above, but if you're still struggling, this might be a valuable resource.

It's an annual publication that lists all the members of the BGTW – writers and editors, with email addresses – and a good selection of PRs, from tourist boards to airline representatives.

The problem, of course, with such a publication is that people move on, change jobs, get new email addresses, phone numbers, and PR clients come and go. This means someone listed as representing the Danish tourist board at the time of publication (usually spring of each year) may not still be representing them by autumn.

I'll be adding more as they come to me, so keep this page bookmarked.

Lottie Gross

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