This month, the Missive team attended World Travel Market at London’s ExCel Centre – and it didn’t disappoint. From the packed stand featuring a traditional Slovenian printing press, to the many Thai massage beds, cups of Egyptian coffee, tropical island hammocks, VR Alpine-skiing experiences and more freebies than you could pick up in a first-class lounge, it’s safe to conclude that global travel is open for business.
One area that’s particularly booming is the tech designed to power the sector; the global market for travel tech was estimated to be worth $8.6 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow by 45% by 2026. Many of the companies exhibiting at the show’s ‘Innovate’ stands specialised in travel payments. Historically considered a back-office cost, as travel services continue to become more and more complex, this area is proving crucial to offer improved customer experiences, better industry partnerships, and innovation across the whole industry.
But for many players, this narrative still needs to be amplified. As experts in fintech and travel tech, we’ve collated our top tips for how a solid communications programme can help those payments companies looking to increase their presence in the travel market.
First, get your messaging house in order
Every strong communications plan must be founded on an agreed vision and messaging house based on clear insights from the market you operate in. This is the foundation the comms team will come back to – and like any good storytelling, this requires people at all levels, from the office floor to the C-suite, to able to articulate the brand in the simplest terms possible.
Before engaging with media, a company must be able to express its USP, founding story, goals, and key messaging. Successfully building a coherent narrative at the outset ensures consistency across communications, makes it easier to connect with target audiences and solidifies your brand identity externally.
Break into trade media with thought leadership and data
When breaking into media relations, it’s a good idea to start with the media you know your audience is directly engaging with. In this instance, this means travel and payments trades – as these are the titles are where your decision-makers will often head to for industry news and opinions.
Coverage here can also support your broader sales enablement through third-party validation that can be used in sales materials and pitches. Securing contributed articles on topics you can meaningfully comment on or providing owned data and customer case studies (supplemented by third-party research where needed), are both great tactics to building your presence and credibility in these titles.
Be willing to comment on breaking news or trending topics
Staying on top of industry news and offering insightful perspectives and commentary, where appropriate, positions you as an expert thought leader and a useful resource for journalists, building goodwill over time. By offering reporters insider context and opinions around unfolding events you also have a chance to help frame the conversation in the resulting coverage and connect your brand to what matters now in the broader industry.
Consider a social media audit
Your social media channels and website are often the first destination for people interested in finding out more information about your company. Optimising your social presence is key to making the most of this first impression, and auditing your channels helps ensure you’re on the right track to achieve your broader marketing goals and maintain brand consistency. Our Senior Digital Manager, Peter, talks about why now is the perfect time to conduct a social media audit here.
Align comms measurement to business impact
No communications programme is complete without a defined set of metrics to help you track the impact it has back on the business. In PR, metrics can, and should, go well beyond those traditionally associated with coverage such as reach, message pull through and share of voice. It’s key to map back any comms work to what your overarching business is trying to achieve. From driving sales to hiring talent or improving customer loyalty, PR should be based around agreed-upon business objectives to maximise the ROI of your efforts.
If you’d like to find out more about how to get the most out of your communications strategy and programme in 2024, get in touch with the Missive team.