The wanderlust is in full swing here at DWPub as we present an interview with editor, freelance journalist and intrepid explorer Richard Webber. Richard's travels have featured in The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Express as well as on his own website Travellowdown.com.
About your publication
Who reads it and how many of them are there?
Travel Lowdown is a relatively new online travel review site which spotlights attractions, accommodation, destinations, products – just about anything travel-related. The site is already receiving plenty of positive feedback and I’ve been working with various invidividual PRs and PR companies; this summer alone, press trips have been organised to various parts of the UK and abroad, where I’ve reviewed hotels, family attractions and destinations.
What subjects do you cover?
Anything travel, so accommodation, destinations, attractions, travel products, places to eat, books, etc.
What stories are you most interested in covering?
I’m interested in reviewing anything which falls into the aforementioned categories. However, I’m not an armchair reviewer so all the reviews posted on the site are experienced first-hand by me. When the site was launched, I decided not to simply review products without having experienced them myself; that, I believe, would be unfair to visitors entering the site.
What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
Rather than concentrate on making the site different, I’ve simply focused on making sure the approach on Travel Lowdown is right. Therefore, as mentioned above, I’ll only post if I’ve sampled the product personally. Although not exclusively, it’s fair to say the lion’s share of reviews are family-orientated. Being a keen traveller myself with two kids, I appreciate how difficult it can be sourcing, among other things, accommodation where children are made to feel welcome or attractions which are good value for money.
About your journalism
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done
There have many memorable jobs. As well as travel, I write about various subjects for national papers and mags, including property, TV, health and celebs. When it comes to travel, it’s hard to choose my most memorable work. Highlights, though, include wonderful family trips to the Outer Hebrides and Shetland for the Sunday Telegraph and travelling around Iceland in a campervan (highly recommended) for the Daily Express.
Which destination would you most like to visit/review and why?
Again, it’s difficult picking one, although I’d love to return to Iceland; mind you, I did that a couple of months ago for a weekly mag (article not yet published). But there are so many corners of that wonderful country to be explored and written about. Greenland is another place I want to visit, St Helena another. Then there are the Greek Islands; although I’ve been to many, there are lots more to see. Madeira, Faroe Islands, Cape Verde – the list is endless, and some are places I’ve visited in the past, but would be interested in revisiting!
About you and PRs
Where do you source ideas for articles?
How can PRs be useful to you?
By keeping me posted on new attractions, new places to stay, new marketing campaigns within the destinations they represent – basically, by putting my name on their distribution lists for press releases and letting me know about any press trip opportunities.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
By email or phone and as often as possible.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
Very useful, especially trips.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Every PR agency is different and I can’t think of anything I’d like to change.
What interests you most about your job?
The variety, excitement associated with an assignment, seeing the final product come to fruition (whether that be a print feature or online review), etc.
Do you tweet? Why, why not?
Yes, I’ve recently set up a Twitter account via Travel Lowdown and am looking to increase the number of followers. It’s another very useful way of keeping in touch, communicating and establishing relationships.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
Too many, and I’ll never get round to reading them all!
You can find Richard tweeting @travellowdown.