PRESS PASS Newsletter

Volume 36, Issue 07, September 2018


In this issue...

What You Need to Know About Using Photos in your Articles

by Mary Chong

Photography in your hand versus on the screen

1. Use your own photos whenever possible - Do not ever use a photo in an article without giving proper credit to the owner/photographer.

  • You don't need to use a DSLR camera; some mobile phone images may be suitable for print depending on the settings you have chosen within the App.

2. Reach out to the Tourism Board, Brand or Host for a suitable photo if you don't have your own pictures

  • Ensure you have permission to publish and credit the photographer accordingly.

3. Buy Stock Photos

  • There are many stock houses online, here are a few that I use: iStock Shutterstock Adobe Stock
  • Some stock houses have different licenses/prices based on the number of impressions (views) the photo is expected to receive.
  • Ensure that you have the correct rights for use and credit the stock photo company as per their guidelines.
  • Keep a copy of the license for use in your files

4. Creative Commons Photos / Free Photo Sites - Creative Commons, PEXELS, Unsplash

  • Give proper credit to the owner of the photo and ensure you attribute the source correctly as per Creative Commons About The Licenses 
  • Keep a copy of the license for use in your files

5. Final Tips

  • Ensure you submit your photos to your editor to the exact image specifications required (i.e., minimum/maximum dimensions, pixel size, portrait/landscape, with/without watermark)
  • Ensure when posting your published article in your IFWTWA profile or online portfolio that the photo rights for use are transferable

Attending Travel Marketplace Events - How to Find Them and How to Apply

by Kathleen Walls

Travel marketplace events are gold mines for travel writers. Gold miners and travel journalists are a lot alike. Both are looking for precious nougats. The miner needs a mine or stream where the gold is hiding and a tool to get it out. A travel writer needs a destination and a contact there who can give them the inside scope or what to do and see. Think of the destination as your nougat and the contact as your tool. Marketplaces are filled with nougats and tools. A smart travel writer will be at as many as possible to mine the destination gold. 

Woman's hands on laptop with mug of cocoa nearby

The basic premise of all travel marketplaces is to bring visitors to destinations. Well-written stories in publications, both online and in print, bring visitors (and their money) to destinations. The basic working of marketplaces is CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureaus) and public relations firms who represent destinations who pay to rent a booth at a marketplace. Travel writers are invited free, and in some cases, even have hotel and occasionally airfare paid to bring them there. To sweeten the pot, pre- and post-event press trips are offered. Once at the marketplace, you have appointments with destinations (CVB and PR people). You each know a little about the other when you meet. They tell you what they have to offer and you tell them what you want to write about. Sometimes they are planning group press trips, and if you meet their standards and the interests are mutual, you get invited. More often, they help you arrange to visit their area and set you up in a hotel, feed you, and take you around to their high spots.

Using Travel Media Showcase (TMS) as an example, this is basically how they work. You fill out a pre-registration form on their site. They look it over and if you look promising, they send you credentials to post an official application. Here is where you show your strength. Post your best articles in publications with the highest circulation. Assuming you are accepted, you are offered choices of several pre- or post-trips. This year, I am going to Cattaraugus County and visit an Amish Community and the Seneca Nations Cultural Center among other things. Choices ranged from Rochester to Finger Lakes to Erie and more.

At the marketplace, I will spend a day and a half doing 12-minute meetings with about 40 CVBs to exchange information. Then I will do a day tour around Niagara. Choices range from fishing to riding the rapids to hops and vines tours.

Now fellow journalists, do you see why these are gold mines?

Media Trips 101: Everything You Need to Know About Applying for IFWTWA Media Trips

by Rossana Wyatt and Dana Freeman

As you know, press trips are not a vacation. They entail a lot of work for journalists and require us to be professional at all times. To that end, the media trip committee works hard behind the scenes to plan the best trips possible to meet members’ needs.

As a reminder, when applying or selected for a media trip, IFWTWA members accept full responsibility for their actions. As individuals and as an organization, we must conduct ourselves with the utmost professionalism. IFWTWA applicants must agree to adhere to our Code of Conduct and the expectations of conduct for events and media Trips.

I want to fly away suitcase surrounded by trips gear

Read the entire Media Trip post. Don’t just jump to fill out the application immediately. The detailed itinerary we provide you with has information you’ll need to pitch your potential outlets. Our hosts consider your “story focus” as a very important part of your application.

Update your profile .pdf new media clips. Our hosts need to see what you have published recently.

Fill in all of the information that is asked for in the form. Leaving out crucial information may lead to rejection of the application by the host for this trip or future media trips.

It doesn’t hurt your application to include the following information, it only helps our hosts to properly plan for your visit. So please be honest.

Food Allergies: The host needs to be aware of any, and all food-related allergies/intolerances ahead of time.

Physical restrictions: Do you get car sick? Have a hard time getting in and out of a car or difficulty walking? We need to know if there are any potential problems that would prevent you from participating in an activity that our host has arranged for us.

If we find out about a restriction while on the media trip that precludes you from participating in an activity, it will look unprofessional to our host and will be frowned upon by IFWTWA. We will take this into account when you apply for future media trips.

Always conduct yourself in a professional manner while on a media trip. Hopefully, we do not have to spell that out for you. Inappropriate behavior on the media trip may lead to rejection of your application on future trips.

Uphold all of your Media Trip Clip Commitments. You must fulfill your commitments to publish all of the posts and articles you said you would in your application. The hosts rely on you to follow through, and those commitments are part of the reason you have been chosen. Additionally, members should maximize social media sharing during the press/media trip.

Q&A with San Juans' Barbara Marrett: What CVBs are looking for to host Travel Writers 

by Mary Farah

What’s in a story? That is the question travel writers often face. As we network and pitch with conference and visitor bureaus (CVB’s) and media contacts, we cannot help but wonder what they’re looking for when they invite press to visit their destination, hotel, restaurant.

Inside airplane looking out at beautiful coastlineOne of our 2018 Conference highlights this year on Whidbey Island, Washington was the fantastic workshop led by San Juans Islands Visitors Bureau Marketing Manager Shannon Borg and Barbara Marrett, Communications and Stewardship Manager. These talented ladies covered, How your Stories can Promote a Destination's Wishlist. Ideal for tips and hacks to satisfy your host when you write your stories, It was inspiring to see many of the attendees, several new to the association, watch with wide eyes and taking many notes.

For those who could not be with us at the 2018 conference, or if you need a refresher, we’ve asked Barbara to elaborate a bit more on the hour-long workshop, and the importance of having a brand if you’re an influencer.

IFWTWA: What do you look for when inviting travel writers to visit your destination?
Barbara Marrett:
 I look for writers who have an appreciation of what our destination can offer: quiet, the outdoors, amazing food, but are not looking to be pampered. I look for a good match to cover a shoulder or quiet season event of campaign. For example: our fall Savor the San Juans campaign, May’s History Lives Here campaign or April’s Voluntarism campaign. I look for media guests who cover niches such as health and wellness, the arts and history. These are areas of strength for the San Juans Islands but do not receive a lot of coverage.

IFWTWA: How closely do you look at a writer's social media presence when considering them for a press visit?
Barbara: It’s part of the mix. We especially look at authentic engagement. If engagement feels organic, rather than commercial that is a plus. Also, if it appears as though the engagement is just coming from other travel writers in a group it’s not as valuable.

IFWTWA: When you're pitched for story angles and visits, what's something that stands out for you from a writer?
Barbara: They’ve researched the destination and are enthusiastic about what we have to offer in different areas, not just the obvious ones that everyone else writes about. They’ve sent us a snapshot of their work through links with their pitch.

IFWTWA: In your conference workshop, you mentioned writers should obtain testimonials from PR. Can you elaborate on this?
Barbara: When we are vetting writers it helps to know that other destinations have had a positive experience with them. Has the writer exceeded the destination’s expectations, how? Are they easy to get along with in a group? Any information from other PR folks is helpful.

IFWTWA: Also during the workshop, you explained the importance of a great business card. What makes a good one for you?
Barbara: Not so much a business card, but consistent branding and an attractive package across social media channels, blogs and media kit. This, of course, applies to freelancers, not so much to journalists working for newspapers or print publications.

IFWTWA: How important is flexibility to you when working with a travel writer?
Barbara: We look for travel writers who are very flexible and somewhat independent, rather than someone who needs a fully-fleshed out itinerary. “Island time” causes forced-march itineraries to not stay on schedule, anyway. As real islands without bridges; transportation by ferry, floatplane and regular plane has its challenges. Plans change due to weather. Our philosophy is not to hand-hold writers but give them time to meet locals and explore their passions. Also, a much better story will result with a deeper dive into the destination.

IFWTWA: As an IFWTWA member, why would you tell colleagues to join us?
Barbara: IFWTWA attracts writers committed to excellence, education and delivering on their promises of media coverage. I am impressed with how quickly stories are produced after a press trip and how our destination continues to receive coverage long after the press trip.

Barbara Marrett is the author of Mahina Tiare, Pacific Passages: a story of travel, romance and adventure sailing to the Pacific’s most exotic islands and remote reefs. She is a long-time contributing editor to Cruising World magazine, an international magazine geared to long-distance sailors.

Learn more about the San Juans Islands at

Photo of the Year 2018

by Len & Judy Garrison

CONGRATULATIONS to JANICE NIEDER, Photo of the Year 2018 winner for her amazing portrait. "Tibetan man walking through Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet" originally showcased as our October 2017 Photo of the Month.

2018 Photo of the Year Award - Janice Nieder

Photo Tips & Tricks:

Here's your tip for the month: Always have a spare! Whether it be batteries, straps or cards, there will always come a time when the one you left the hotel room with lets you down. Here are some of the extras we always pack:

  • batteries; all kinds!
  • charging stations or cords (for the camera as well as phone)
  • an external hard drive; make a point to back up your images on a hard drive or computer at least once during a trip. 
  • memory cards; since we never erase cards, we always have extras. We don't erase until we're back home and can place images on the server. 
  • a great case; I love ONA bags. Make sure there's lots of padding to protect your gear. 
  • lots of cleaning cloths
  • duct tape (don't laugh; you'd be surprised what duct tape can solve).



Send us your entries; upload your other favorites on your profile community wall to share with fellow members. Enter monthly. Send your entries to Len & Judy at Seeing Southern prior to the 15th. Please provide high-resolution images with shot location, what's happening in the shot, and any backstory. 

Keep travelin' and keep shootin' -- Inspire us! 

Introducing IFWTWA Professional Development Learning Videos 

by Linda Milks

IFWTWA members continuously grow in this fascinating business of writing about food, wine, and travel. As Chair of the Professional Development Committee, I'm honored to assemble a set of short videos for you on IFWTWA’s YouTube channel. 

With the help of Mary Farah, Social Media Committee Chair, we begin a series of snippets on topics IFWTWA members selected to expand their knowledge. The following videos are graciously provided by our IFWTWA topic experts. I look forward to learning and growing along with you.

IFWTWA's YouTube channel

  • "Scheduling Tools to Keep you on Track with Social Media" by Joy Steinberg
  • "Engagement vs. Numbers & Other Social Media Tips" by Rossana Wyatt
  • "How to Break into Big Magazines with John Owens" by John Owens
  • "2 Minute Tips: Who to Follow on Social Media" by Kathleen Walls
  • "2 Minute Tips: Growing your Social Media" by Betsi Hill

Volunteer Spotlight

by Linda Milks 

JANICE NIEDER has been chosen as our Volunteer of the Month because of her active role in assisting Allen Cox with the 2018 IFWTWA Conference on Whidbey Island.

Janice NiederYou could say Janice’s background is diverse. For 12 years she worked as a specialty food consultant in New York City for places like Tavern on the Green and Dean and Deluca. Since that time, she has traveled to nearly 100 countries where she uses her knowledge of food and food preparation to help underdeveloped countries protect their cultural identity by preserving their traditional foods and cooking methods. In addition to these countries, she has assisted local producers with bringing their products to market, and consulted with tourism and business leaders on developing and promoting local farmers markets, cooking classes, and culinary tours.

When you meet Janice, ask about her adventure with Ethiopian tribal women baking Injera bread on hot stones or her exotic dinner with a Shuar Indian family deep in the Amazon Jungle. In addition to assisting underdeveloped countries keep their culture through the foods for which they are known, she has written numerous articles about her culinary discoveries and the cooking methods in a wide variety of countries such as Ireland, Poland, Taiwan, San Sebastian, Italy, and Jerusalem.

IFWTWA is not the only organization that cherishes Janice’s work. She has received San Francisco's Community Leadership Award of Excellence for her activism as the Volunteer Coordinator for C.H.E.F.S. (Conquering Homelessness Through Employment in Food Service), a creation of hers that trains the homeless in restaurant skills.

You can find some of Janice’s writing on her blog Travel Luxury Blog as well as Honest CookingJust Lux, and JaniceNiederThese are just some of the places she publishes. As you can see, she is a prolific writer!

We want to give Janice a very big “THANK YOU” for all the work she did this year on the conference!

Association Recognitions

It’s an honor to introduce you to our new members and to give recognition to members having anniversaries this month. We thank our new and anniversary members for including IFWTWA on their pathway to success. Your choice to work hard, think positive, network, and use your member benefits brings you to a whole new level of achievement. Way to go! 


10 years
John Lamkin

5 years
Jan Pollack Bianco

5 years
Beverly Cohn

5 years
Open the Door
Christina Pappas

* * * * *


Lisa Truesdale
Longmont, CO
Get Boulder
Home of Boulder Magazine

Sonja Stimmer 
Cave Creek, AZ
Spirit of the West Magazine
Reise * Lifestyle * Abenteuer

Ann Cavitt Fisher 
Houston TX 
Ann Cavitt Fisher
Writer, Traveler, and Cancer Survivor

Stephanie Kalina-Metzger 
Camp Hill, PA
The best brands have relied on Contently

Alisha McDarris 
Austin TX 78719
Alisha McDarris
Travel Writer, Photographer

Diane Dobry 
Casselberry FL 32707
Diane Dobry
Writer & Communications Consultant

Donna Salle 
Montreal, PQ H3H 1A8 Canada
Travels With Heart
Travel Writer

Laurie Rowe Communications 
and Travel Media Press Room
Laurie Rowe
Panama City, FL

IFWTWA Resources: Connect with our Experts

Connect with fellow IFWTWA experts. Join Forums & create Social Circles on IFWTWA's new website. Meet members in our private Facebook Members Group. Follow and connect for retweets, "like" member's posts and pages, attend events, and volunteer. Interact with your colleagues to enhance and grow your professional goals.  

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Become a Regional Membership Coordinator 
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Beth Graham
Editor, Press Pass

IFWTWA | Murrieta, CA | 877-IFWTWA-9