Here is the before:
|EAT PRAY LOVE YOURSELF
SPIRITUAL TRAVEL COMPANY GETS ON THE MAP
LAS VEGAS, Aug 24, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Spirit Quest Tours’ founder, Greg Roach, hardly seems like a man on a mission. Looking more like Stephen Spielberg than Deepak Chopra, Greg started Spirit Quest Tours to help people experience the awakenings of self he did on his first trips to Egypt over a dozen ago. But after years of tours to Bali, Egypt, China, and all over Europe, the boutique company was a well-kept travel secret until fame arrived in the form of an Eat Pray & Love Bali tour. Now articles in Time Magazine, USA Today, Good Morning America, ABC News, and many others have shifted his focus to larger intentions.
We want to bring the world our brand – we are developing a global spiritual travel TV show (HAVE TO ASK SCOTT IF THIS MENTION IS OK), my partner Halle Eavelyn (who leads the Eat Pray & Love Bali tours) is writing a spiritual travel memoir about her own awakening in Egypt – we want to help Americans to reach out and connect with the world, to help them wake up to their deeper purposes than just their daily lives and jobs.”
When Author Elizabeth Gilbert first started her year-long travels to Italy, India, and Bali, she hardly expected to become a worldwide phenomenon and reluctant life coach for millions of women. But Eat Pray Love struck such a chord that none other than Julia Roberts is playing Liz in the movie, which has already grossed over $40M even before its overseas opening. “Every woman we know is seeing this movie, and many are seeing it more than once,” said Roach. Hundreds of people have contacted us about traveling with us to Bali, or Egypt, or one of our other destinations.
The Eat Pray & Love Bali trip includes many opportunities for self-examination and growth, which were the major themes of the book. “The shifts are really remarkable for the guests on our trips,” said Roach. “We’ve seen people heal huge problems in their lives, or step up to the next level by embracing a long-held dream or goal.”
An escorted tour usually means having a guide on the ground to ensure your safety and comfort, as well as show you the sites. While Spirit Quest does provide these local guides on each trip they do, Greg and Halle personally accompany the group, to give the trip cohesion and a thruline that the local guides can’t.
“It’s our job to give people the ‘trip of a lifetime’ and we feel that by going with them we can support them most fully and look after their every need. It also helps in a foreign country to travel with an American who knows the country well. “Things change on tours all the time; we know how to head off storms before the group is even aware of them. We act as a buffer for each of our guests, so they can stay in a bliss bubble until after they return home.”
So is Julia Roberts leading the Bali trip? Not likely. “She shows us what Liz Gilbert went through onscreen. For each person on our tours we want them to focus on their own spiritual growth and experience, set in one of the most beautiful environments in the world: Bali. Each of our guests gets to star in their own movie.”
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For further information, contact: Halle Eavelyn
Here is the after:
Eavelyn and I discussed:
1. The subject headline has to invite journalists to open it.
Make the topic current and give it a twist – Eat Pray Love is in theaters now so it’s in the media limelight. And Eavelyn has been tracking it at the box office and through her own informal surveys. Eat Pray Love Yourself is the theme of the tour which is both a luxurious adventure as well as an exploration of self.
2. Lead with information that is important to the journalist or producer.
Instead of leading with information about what THEY wanted to promote and info on the tours, lead with a good story that captures attention and is humorous that would interest the editor or producer and his audience. I was inspired by a disclaimer on their website at the bottom of the page right under “sign me up” and wrote up some copy incorporating it. Also, when Eat Pray Love first came out I remembered reading the advice Elizabeth Gilbert gave on her website to women who aspired to duplicate her journey. This is an enticing tidbit that’s slightly gossipy which the media love.
3. Be specific about the outcome or results people had using your service.
In the first version the “results” were too amorphous and not tangible enough. You want to quantify as much as possible. “Spiritual growth” isn’t so easy to quantify, but you can give examples of changes or shifts which is what Eavelyn did.
I recommended that Eavelyn focus on some of the transformations that people had had on their past tours to give people interested in self-knowledge a flavor of what it was like and a small scope of what they might expect besides some good food and good fortune.
Also, by naming the type of people and the kind of changes they went through allows people to identify themselves and say, “That’s me! I want that too!” and then pick up the phone and sign up for the tour. In other words it’s a subtle, but targeted call to action. The other thing it does is give fresh information since Spirit Quest Tours has had so much great press already a journalist or producer won’t want to duplicate the content as they focus on getting new stories all their own.
4. Link to impressive press you’ve received.
By giving teasers of highlights from major national press other media outlets feel secure in covering this as a legitimate story.
5. Give the option of getting more in-depth information.
Supplying links allows the reporter to read more if they are inclined. Giving them the option is a great way to lead them to your website to explore. They may find information that they can use for the piece or it can inspire them for another angle, piece or idea that you hadn’t thought of.
6. Link to testimonials.
The past media coverage supplies the credibility. The other way to establish credibility is through the people who actually went on the tours. Again they gave a few teasers and links for the reporter to find out more.
The press release now reads like a story and can be taken “as is” by any reporter. It also contains all the essential information for the media if they want to explore further — without giving everything away.