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Working with San Francisco Travel’s Media Relations Department

Learn how to work with San Francisco Travel's Global Media Relations team to maximize your reach.

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This article is part of our Member Orientation series. To continue the series, make sure to click the next step button at the bottom of the page.

The Global PR and Media Relations team at the San Francisco Travel Association works to generate positive media coverage of San Francisco and the region as a desirable destination for leisure, group and convention travel.  Each year, San Francisco Travel assists thousands of media writing for magazines, newspapers, guidebooks, websites, blogs, television, radio and other media all over the world.

The participation of San Francisco Travel’s members is essential to generating billions of media impressions about San Francisco each year.  The support you provide turns into millions of dollars’ worth of publicity, which would otherwise be impossible for us to purchase. 

San Francisco Travel members may participate in and benefit from the following programs:

Available to All Members

Media Relations Contacts

San Francisco Travel needs contact information for the people at each member business who should receive leads for marketing, tourism, conventions, and media opportunities. 

The Media Relations Contact should be the person at the organization who handles public relations and can respond to requests from or about media. You may list more than one Media Relations Contact per business, which may be helpful if media relations is handled by a PR agency or outside contractor. 

You can update the Media Relations contact for your organization through the Partner Portal. Login through our Members page, and navigate to Company Information and Contacts. You can also contact [email protected].  Please provide: 

  • Name of the member business.
  • Name of the Media Relations Contact.
  • Media Relations Contact email address.
  • Media Relations Contact phone number.

Media Relations Bulletins

Media relations bulletins are periodic emails notifying members of the media who are seeking information about and/or invitations to San Francisco-based accommodations and experiences (tours, attractions, and restaurants). Each bulletin contains instructions on how to respond. It is not necessary to respond to the email if you are not interested in participating. 

Offers for hotel accommodations are usually sent through San Francisco Travel and then forwarded to the media.  Hotels are required to inform San Francisco Travel of the rack rate for complimentary or discounted accommodations provided. 

Bulletins are sent only to those member businesses that are relevant to the media's needs.

On occasion, we may send a bulletin for opportunities to be included in special promotions in which we are participating (e.g. San Francisco-themed prize packages in giveaways or auction partnerships). Response and/or participation is voluntary, although may be an additional avenue of exposure for your business to a key audience.

Participation in FAM Tours

Throughout the year, our Media Relations team helps to organize visits by travel journalists to San Francisco and the region, who are researching possible stories and ideas for coverage. As the team works on these familiarization trips (FAMs), we may be in touch to formally include your business on specific media's itinerary. You can help by ensuring that your media contact information is current (see above) and by responding to our inquiries as they arrive.

Click here for tips on hosting media at your business.

Press Release Library 

San Francisco Travel writes and distributes a wide variety of press releases and keeps an extensive library of “evergreen” feature releases. All San Francisco Travel members are welcome to use this content for their own press releases, press kits, collateral materials, websites, etc.  

To access the San Francisco Travel Association press release library, visit the media section of the San Francisco Travel website.

Photo/Video Library

Images in San Francisco Travel’s extensive library may be used free of charge for non-commercial promotion of travel to San Francisco. Approved uses include member brochures, websites, press releases, slide shows, etc. Use in advertising is not permitted.  

To access and download images from the San Francisco Travel online photo gallery, go to https://sftravel.webdamdb.com/bp/#/.

Social Media

San Francisco Travel is one of the leading destination marketing organizations in its use of social media. Content for daily posts is collected from a variety of sources and is intended as a broad, entertaining insider’s view of San Francisco.   

How to participate:

  • Follow @onlyinSF on FacebookInstagram, and on Twitter
  • Send press releases and other items for consideration to Anastasia Straley at [email protected]. Note, social posts or inclusions are not guaranteed to members.

Market Briefing: Working with Travel Writers

Twice each year, the Media Relations team presents a briefing on how to find, contact, pitch, and host travel journalists.  Learn how the participation of San Francisco Travel’s members is essential in generating billions of media impressions about San Francisco each year. See how the support you provide turns into millions of dollars’ worth of publicity which would otherwise be impossible to purchase. 

To find the next briefing date and register, visit http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/article/market-briefings.

Submissions for “What’s New in San Francisco” Press Releases

A roundup release of “What’s New in San Francisco” is updated regularly.  This release is posted on our website, included in our press kits, and distributed to more than 3,000 international, domestic, regional and local journalists. 

To be considered for inclusion in “What’s New in San Francisco,” please send a description of 100 words maximum to Laurie Armstrong Gossy at [email protected] for review. Include a URL for more information and a name, phone number, and email address for the media relations contact.  Please note that not all submissions will be included. Please do not send information on hotel packages.  

Press Clippings

Press clippings that include mentions of our members are distributed electronically. These are sent to the member’s key contact, not necessarily the Media Relations Contact.

Available to All Access-level Members and all San Francisco Hotel Members

Visiting Media Handbook

The Visiting Media Handbook is a digital reference guide of San Francisco Travel members with special offers for visiting media.  The hanbook allows the media to create a personalized itinerary that best supports their particular project. We encourage media to contact San Francisco Travel members directly.  

Your introduction to the media will appear here.

How to participate:

  • Login to the Partner Portal.
  • Click on Account Management under My Offers.
  • Select Visiting Journalist Handbook.
  • Enter your 255-character offer in the fields shown.

Submissions will only be accepted from the Partner Portal.  Email requests will not be accommodated. If you need assistance navigating the Portal, please contact [email protected].   

Once your offer is entered, it will be reviewed and posted in the Visiting Media Handbook as soon as possible.

Welcome Packets for Visiting Media 

Media assisted by San Francisco Travel receive a Welcome Packets when they arrive at their hotels. These packets include a press kit and any special materials relevant to their visit. 

Members are welcome to provide free tickets or media passes to include in these packets.  

To provide tickets to be included in the Welcome Packets, please contact Tatiana Ranis at [email protected].

Media passes can be provided as a PDF file, which the Media Relations team will print as needed and insert in the Welcome Packets.  Send a draft for review to Laurie Armstrong Gossy at [email protected].

Media Lists 

The following media lists in Excel format are available at no charge: 

  • Bay Area Travel Media
  • Bay Area Media 

If you are interested in receiving a media list, please contact Tatiana Ranis at [email protected]

Let's Review!

We know these are a lot of opportunities for you to consider. Here are some basic points to help you make the most of working with the San Francisco Travel Media Relations team: 

  • Make sure San Francisco Travel has your company’s current Media Relations Contact(s) on file.
  • Read Media Relations bulletins carefully and respond promptly.
  • Introduce yourself to the media with an offer or invitation via the Visiting Media Handbook, if eligible.
  • Host visiting journalists whenever possible.
  • Keep San Francisco Travel informed by adding us to your media list.
  • Write press releases in standard Associated Press style.
  • Send thank you notes to journalists when they include your organization in their coverage. 

Your San Francisco Travel Global PR and Media Relations Team 

Please include the following San Francisco Travel team members on your press release distribution list:  

Elisabeth Wieselthaler-Toelly
Vice President, Global PR and Media Relations
[email protected] 
415.227.2603  

Laurie Armstrong Gossy
Senior Director, Global PR and Media Relations
[email protected]
415.227.2615

Tatiana Ranis
Manager, Global PR and Media Relations
[email protected]
415.227.2615

Jerome Filip
Senior Associate, Global PR and Media Relations
jerome@sftravel.com
415.227.2615

Unsure of who to contact on the Global PR & Media Relations team, or have general questions? Click here to email the team.

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