From the President: Giving back after getting
As BATW members, we get access to a lot of freebies and special events in some of the most spectacular venues in the Bay Area.
While we are grateful, it’s easy to take these gifts for granted. But as with any gifts, it’s courteous to reciprocate — and it’s usually expected. Venues that have been especially generous with free admission, complimentary meals, drinks and lodgings do expect they will get some publicity in exchange: they are putting their best foot forward hoping we travel journalists will be telling the world what they have to offer.
The best “thank you” of course is publication of articles and photographs in an established medium, such as magazines, newspapers, newsletters and on the internet. But that can be a challenge with today’s dwindling media outlets. Many have gone out of business, or cut back the amount of material they are publishing, or the type of articles. The talk by SF Chronicle Travel Editor Greg Thomas at our February meeting highlighted that, as he explained, the Chronicle is now focusing exclusively on articles and photos about the USA with focus on California. And with the plethora of material offered free, the pay for travel journalism has been drastically lowered.
Here are some other ways to show appreciation and give kudos to our hosts: Post photos of the event or venue on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram; most establishments have their own hashtags – and this is something you can do while you are still at the event. The BATW has its own Facebook page where members are increasingly posting about our activities. Post an account, with photos, on your own website or blog. or offer an account to another travel-oriented website.
Finally, take a moment to send a brief thank you email or note. And remember what your mama always told you about thank you’s: those who express thanks tend to get invited back.