MATPRA unifies regional DMOs & empowers tourism public relations

PR is prioritized by mid-Atlantic tourism, thanks to Alliance of DMOs

As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work. For the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA), the dream is a flourishing tourism industry across the entire mid-Atlantic region. MATPRA is a cohesive unit of destination marketing organizations encompassing Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC!

The alliance serves travel journalists from across the country and its regional DMO partners by providing resources for DMOs to network with each other and pitch to the media. One of these resources is their annual Media Marketplace, a conference held at a different host destination each year that brings together destination marketers and qualified journalists.

Here to talk about the Marketplace event, how journalists are selected, and what destination marketers can benefit from connecting with the media are Melissa Muntz from Visit Frederick, MD, and Kaitie Burger from Discover Lehigh Valley, PA. Both Melissa and Kaitie are on the Board of Directors for MATPRA and are passionate about empowering the tourism industry in their respective destinations as well as in the mid-Atlantic region as a whole.

5 Tips for Networking and Relationship-Building with Journalists and DMO Partners

  1. Research and vet your journalists first! Make sure you’ve read some of their work before you decide to pitch to them. You want to assess their writing skill, style, and opinions before you make the choice to have them write an article all about your destination.
  2. Follow up with journalists and potential partners on social media after your initial conversation. You’re more likely to get something out of attending a conference or event if you make an effort to contact the people you thought you had a genuine connection with or an opportunity for a beneficial partnership.
  3. Develop unique itineraries with your neighboring DMOs. Tourists traveling from far away are more likely to realize they can spend not just 2 days there, but 2 weeks there if there are other places around your destination to add onto their adventure!
  4. For pitching stories, think about what’s unique and new in your destination. It’s especially important to know what kinds of experiences are trending among travelers and how what your destination has to offer fits into those trends.
  5. Expand the world of networking! We’re in the tourism industry, after all. Go zip-lining, have a beer at a local brewery, or visit an amusement park and ride some coasters; you’re both much more likely to remember your time together that way than you would be meeting on the floor at a conference.

Hear how Dollywood collaborates with Gatlinburg, TN’s CVB to market the entire region!


About the guests: Melissa Muntz is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Visit Frederick and currently serves as the vice chair of the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance, which represents more than 60 tourism boards across the region. Kaitie Burger is the Social Media and Communications Manager for Discover Lehigh Valley and currently serves as the chair of MATPRA. Both Kaitie and Melissa are also members of the Public Relations Society of America.

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