How a travel agent got on television

How to Be on TV Shows:

Use your expertise and knowledge of what is happening in the news right now to pitch the perfect story. The media is covering the story right now anyway, add a new perspective or angle to an already trending story. Showing your expertise on that hot topic is a simple way to get yourself attention from the media. See how Patricia Mickus, travel agent, used her expertise in travel and current events (a hurricane) to land in the media.

We call this newsjacking. Learn more by watching my video  >> HERE

PR Client:

Patricia Mickus, Simple Luxuries Travel

Successful PR Topic:

Using her expertise in the travel industry.

Why is this PR story relevant:

At the time of this segment, this story was very important for viewers who had a trip planned or were already on vacation at that time. Following a very destructive hurricane in the Caribbean, many people were stranded or feared losing money/deposits that they put into vacation. Having Mickus on to explain what these travelers should be doing in the next few days/weeks ensured that the segment would be valuable and viewed by many. Her expertise was beneficial when it came to the trending news of a pending hurricane.

Why this pitch appealed to the media:

Considering all of the people who were planning a vacation in or near the Caribbean at the time of the hurricane, or those with future plans who might be impacted by its devastation, this story was relevant to many people. There was a large audience that needed advice on the exact topic that Mickus is an expert on. Sharing her knowledge on trending story that was impacting many made it easy for the pitch to land in the media.

Media outlet that was pitched:

Great Day Washington, WUSA9, Washington D.C.

Free PR Interview Transcript

Right now the weather looks nice up here but it’s certainly a serious situation for those of you at home who have loved ones and friends who are in those hurricane hit areas. So we encourage you to visit our wwwusa9 app and our facebook page. That’s where you get the latest updates from Mary and the weather team. Right now you might be sitting at home with a vacation reservation, wondering what to do if you had a planned trip to the Caribbean or Florida in the next few weeks or months. Joining us is the co-owner Simple Luxuries Travel Patricia Mickus.

Patricia, welcome. Thank you. I know it’s been a very busy time for you. It’s been a crazy week. It has absolutely been a crazy week and we’re not through it yet but we’re we’ll get there. What if somebody does have a reservation at a Caribbean Island that they can’t get in over the next few months which you know, is going to be months of repair for them.

So what you first want to do is just check with who you booked with. Your Airlines, your resorts or travel operators. Unless you had a travel agent, if you had a travel agent you know contact them first because they’ll take care of you without you having to do all the work. But what you’re going to want to do is get your confirmation number, get all of your information ahead, go to their website, go to the hurricane or their cancellation policy and look at it. You can usually find it under their frequently asked questions and it pretty much will lay out what you have to do. You’re not going to be able unfortunately to sit there and just click click click on your computer and make these changes, you’re going to actually have to pick up the phone and talk to a representative.

Now, talk to us about people who have the flight reservations and maybe the hotel is cancelled. I talked to a woman yesterday where she could get to where she was going, she just didn’t have anywhere to stay. It seems like these two industries aren’t talking to each other.

They don’t necessarily unless you have booked a package that includes everything wrapped up in one.  Right now a lot of the resorts, unless you’re in the Caribbean, if you’re going to Florida most of those are starting to open back up and you can get there if you can get to Florida. Because of all the airports aren’t fully operating and even though some of them are going back online today it will take several days just, like we have snow storms up here, it can take several days for all of that to kind of shake itself out. Unfortunately, for Airlines a lot of times when you’re going they’ll reschedule you or allow you to cancel without having a fee attached to it, but they don’t necessarily refund your money. What they end up doing is giving you a credit to use in the future.

If somebody purchased a flight insurance, travel insurance, vacation insurance, how is that impacted in a situation like this are they treated a little bit differently or does it?

Well, they’re not necessarily treated differently at the time that you’re making those, you know, decisions. But it gives you the capability of being able to relax a little bit more knowing that. Yes, you’re disappointed, you might not be able to take your vacation or might not be able to get there. However, once you know, everything said and done you’re going to recoup a lot of your costs back. Because, you know, there are people that are staying at some of these resorts that can’t get home from Florida and they’re still having to pay for food and, you know, the hotel stays and things like that. That can get really expensive.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits of using a travel industry insider because I can imagine you have relationships with hotel managers and airports and things like that where they may call you and tell you something before it hits the public, right?

So we kind of knew this was coming. Because you could tell what was going to happen and Florida was definitely in the crosshairs. So we were being told. I mean, I my email box is full of resort managers and sales managers letting us know exactly what’s going on at all their resorts and what their cancellation and reschedule policies are. So let us handle that, I mean most of the time our services are free to book so you shouldn’t have to worry about this. You know, our agents were on the telephone with Disney listening to Disney hold music, which we all love Disney music, but after six hours of it in the background waiting to revamp our clients.

So instead of consumers being at home having to be online and listening to the hold music, you will do that for them. Exactly. Exactly. So they can worry about their day-to-day or, if they’re down there, worry about themselves and cleaning up and their family and you can handle everything else. But what about with like, cruise ships because some were stuck out at sea and then you’ve got Disney Cruises and those are the ports of call.

So, most of the cruise lines last week dropped their passengers back off on Thursday. So they, you know usually the week ones are Saturday to Saturday, or Sunday to Sunday. And so, they brought them in a lot earlier ahead of time. And so, they went back out to sea because it’s safer for those ships to be out to sea, they didn’t have any passengers on them.  So all those cruises sailings that were for this week are cancelled, so we had to reschedule things. What’s going on now is they’re finally coming back online, but there’s a humanitarian issue right now with some of these Caribbean islands that are just so distraught destroyed. They can’t even get the airplanes in there to take these people off. There are thousands of US citizens stranded right now in the Caribbean and so Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean or now sending ships to ports so they can get those people evacuated off.

So unfortunately, next week’s cruises are also impacted. But they’re doing a pretty good job at refunding everyone’s money and a lot of them are even giving them a good percentage off for a future cruise.

Well that’s good to know any company who kind of looks at the human side of things and say look these people were affected let’s give them their money back.