Community News

Gorkana meets...The Travel Magazine

7 May 2015

Sharron Livingston, co-founder of The Travel Magazine, on grabbing readers' attention in 10 seconds, loving PRs and being a beach bum.

Gorkana meets...The Travel Magazine

You founded The Travel Magazine nearly 10 years ago - how have things evolved since you first started?

Digital media is a continuous stream of change. When I first put the magazine online it was with a handful of articles, but it soon became apparent that the way people read online is very different to the way they read in print.

Research shows that the average reader has an attention span of just 10 seconds. If it takes any longer than that to pique their interest, you have lost them. Perhaps that's the reason Twitter works so well?

What makes The Travel Magazine different to the competition?

The Travel Magazine is a social media company and the subject we choose to communicate is travel. We engage with our readers several times a day via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+. It works very well.

Talk us through the main channels on the site.

The site is undergoing a whole new design. We understand that readers want reviews and practical, yet inspirational, information about their destination. We are currently working on 24/48 hours in to create detailed snapshots of destinations to complement our offering.

How big is the team and who looks after what?

The two founders are myself and Martino Matijevic. I deal with all things to do with editorial and Martino deals with all things social media. We also have a virtual team scattered around the world.

How would we spot a typical reader?

Our readers are aged between 25 and 60 - everyone loves travel and culture don't they?

How would you describe your relationships with PRs?

We love PRs. A good PR will bring their client's expertise to our attention so that we may tell the story.

How best can PRs help with content?

We are open to suggestions. Please feel free to send us your press releases. Bear in mind that we are a social media company and there may be campaigns we can work on together.

Do you have a list of destinations you plan to cover over the rest of the year?

We don't have a list per se and hope to cover as much of the world as possible. We're open to suggestions.

There’s more time pressure on journalists than ever – do you ever have time to go on press trips?

Yes, I welcome press trips.

What should PRs keep in mind when pitching?

If it's travel or travel related then talk to us.

Do you prefer to be pitched to via email or over the phone?

Initially email please.

What sort of content would you never run?

We do not run blatant advertorials or unrelated content.

You’re also travel editor for the Jewish Chronicle. How do you juggle both roles?

There are cross overs. Readers of the Jewish Chronicle are affluent, loyal and highly intrepid. The age group is slightly older (35 to 70). I'm happy to hear pitches for the JC too. Often if I write a story it will appear in both The Travel Magazine and JC, only different versions.

Finally, when travelling for pleasure, where’s your favourite destination?

I sometimes wonder if I was a beach bum in a past life because left to my own devices I could frolic on a beach for hours. Having said that, I love rambling through gorgeous scenery and relaxing in spas.