I've had the chance to work on several different projects with Hawkins International Public Relations, from speech writing to creating content for their websites. Recently on their blog they asked me several questions about why branded content matters, the potential it offers for companies to reach consumers, and how to execute it successfully.
The second in the on-going series of stories on Omni Hotels & Resorts, "Eyes on the Prize," was published by Washington Post Brand Studio and focuses on the Omni Amelia Island. Its annual Fish to Fork competition pits some of Florida's and the country's top chefs against each other in a heated, though friendly, competition. Signal Custom Content hired Kara Frankel to write this story as well as provide some photography, and edited her work. The series will next turn to the Omni Homestead in Virginia.
Signal Custom Content has been working with Omni Hotels & Resorts and Washington Post Brand Studio to create content highlighting the histories and local connections of Omni properties. The first of this series was written by Christine O'Toole and covers the new Wigle Whiskey Tasting Room at the Omni William Penn in Pittsburgh, as well as the history of whiskey distilleries more broadly in eastern Pennsylvania.
Wendy Perrin's Global Travel Summit gathers top travel advisors from around the world, for discussions on the trends, challenges, and opportunities in the industry. I was asked to speak on this year's travel media panel, which took place on January 13 at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort. The other speakers on the media panel were Klara Glowczewska, Executive Travel Editor at Town & Country; Mark Healy, Editor at Men's Journal; Norie Quintos, Editor at Large at National Geographic Travel Media; and Christian L. Wright, writer for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other outlets. The conversation covered the changing state of travel media including the increasing importance of branded and custom content.
For travel advisors, branded content presents an opportunity to reach new clients through programs sponsored by advertisers. Creating excellent content for advisors' own websites has also now become essential. Being included in the travel summit was a wonderful opportunity to share the message of Signal Custom Content: The future of travel media lies in branded and custom content, and Signal can create the content necessary to succeed in this new world.
Signal Custom Content is continuing to create new guides to destinations around the world for Chase Sapphire and Chase Freedom card holders. Today, Chase Sapphire published a look at Park City's culinary scene and a guide to a perfect long weekend there, both articles timed to coincide with the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. In the months ahead, among the destinations that will be covered are Sicily, off-the-beaten path Caribbean islands, and Banff while other features will provide travel advice, including tips for Chase card holders to maximize their points—both earning and spending them, on travel, of course. Here is a link to one of the Park City guides published today, covering some of the town's leading chefs: A Taste of Park City.
At the end of 2016, Signal Custom Content agreed to work with Storia.me to hire with leading travel writers around the world to further enrich the website's wealth of travel content. We look forward to helping some of our favorite writers share their passions, discoveries and travel wisdom with Storia.me's visitors. https://storia.me/
On September 15, Travel Weekly announced the winners of its 2016 Magellan Awards, honoring the best in travel. Among this year's recipients was Holland America, for the AFAR Destination Guides created for the cruise line. John Newton, in his capacity as AFAR's Branded Content Advisor, oversaw the editorial team that created guides to 520 ports and destinations around the world. The editorial team included editors, copy editors, photo researchers, and some 100 freelance writers located around the world who are experts on the ports that they covered for this program. Thank you, AFAR, for the opportunity to lead this project and congratulations, Holland America. The guides can be seen here: Destination Guides in Partnership with AFAR.