Focus with Group Travel Organiser editor Abbe Bates

Group Travel Organiser provides news and features for group travel professionals. This week editor Abbe Bates tells us what makes the title unique and how PRs can succeed with a more tailored approach to press releases.

About the publication:

Who reads it and how many of then are there?
Our core readership is group travel organisers (by this, we mean in general people who organise trips and holidays on a voluntary basis or in a paid role but at no profit to themselves). We have a current circulation of nearly 10,000 (ABC audited) and the magazine is published 10 times a year (it is almost monthly but there are two split issues – June/July and Nov/Dec). We also produce a number of supplements for the group market throughout the year on specific destinations or themes including animal and sealife attractions (in association with BIAZA) along with publications such as a guide for new group organisers and a guide for the travel trade on the structure of British Tourism.

What subjects do you cover?
We cover UK and international destinations, news from home and abroad on new attractions, tourism packages for groups etc., trade fair updates, events, exhibitions, theatre and music as well as themed features on subjects such as group accommodation, transport attractions, maritime attractions and eating out as well as focuses on specific themed events such as air shows, fireworks and illuminations and food and drink festivals. We also feature information on legislation and insurance when relevant to groups – all material is geared to the groups market and so features specific details on this.

What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
We provide a more comprehensive and tailored product specifically for the group travel organiser market and are looked upon as a trusted source of information and advice, with a reputation for quality.

Do you produce a features list? Why? Why not?
Yes – available on request to aid those looking to place advertising and/or editorial against specific features/issues.

Do you use freelance contributions, and if so, are they for any particular section/type of work?
We do but tend to have set freelancers who we regularly use – interest in travel is obviously useful!

About PRs:

Do you work closely with PRs (e.g. for supplements, round tables, events) or do you keep them at arm’s length?
We work with PRs to obtain information for editorial and are always pleased to receive any help that they can give, as long as it is appropriate for groups. Any help with advertising leads is also useful.

Do you have any advice for PRs?
To tailor the press releases we receive to our market rather than sending general blanket travel releases and provide extra information when necessary.

What’s the best starting point for a PR who wants to tell you about their client?
To email as all the editorial team can see this account. Individual contact details can also be found on our website:

What information/input from PRs is most useful to you?
Group specific information such as products launched specifically for this market or incentives at new attractions aimed at groups as well as group information on general news items or themes.

Do you have a PR pet hate?
When an email is addressed to me personally and infers that I have met or spoken with the sender before when I haven’t and, at the other end of the scale, when I am copied in on an email that has been sent to many contacts but the sender has not bothered to attach a greeting or any explanation on the attachment – there is a balance!

When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
PRs can contact us anytime with suitable stories apart from around the third week of the month, which is generally our press week. Our deadlines for contributions vary depending on which features are being worked on in the cycle but generally it is useful to get information for an issue by the end of the previous month (i.e. for the May issue, at the end of April). News can arrive a week or so later as these pages are worked on last.

About you:

What interests you most about your job?
Being able to talk to and meet new people especially engaging with readers, as well as discovering new destinations and being able to report on them in a useful and informative way

What led to you becoming editor for Group Travel Organiser?
I originally did a degree in Writing and Publishing and my plan was to work in London but Group Travel Organiser coincidentally relocated to Hastings, which is my home town. I started as an editorial assistant in 2003 and worked my way up to editor in 2006.

What was your first job?
My first job in publishing was at Group Travel Organiser – my very first job was in a tea shop aged 14!

In a dream world, if you could do any job, what would it be?
Editor of Vanity Fair!

I’d like to have a go at…
Winning an Olympic medal.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one thing would you hope to have with you?
My sanity!

[lnk||_self|Group Travel Organiser (GTO) ]
[img|jpg|Abbe Bates]

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