Why eTN is including a paywall for brands with a story to tell and their PR agencies?
For the last 18 years this publication eTurboNews, known as eTN had been the global leader in travel and tourism news. We have 230,000+ travel industry professionals and up to 1.3 million active readers in our extended network. Our substantial readership relies on eTN for breaking and up to the minute coverage on world travel and tourism.
We have a small, talented team of editors and writers working 24/7 to bring hourly updates to our loyal readership. At the same time, eTN receives literally thousands of press releases from airlines, hotels, and destinations each week. Many of these releases are newsworthy, but they are marketing pieces for which the PR agency is paid handsomely. PR agencies do not work without compensation, and neither should eTN, or indeed, any publication.
A substantial amount of any marketing budget is invested to hire PR professionals to produce content and pitch it to publications like eTurboNews. Because of our reach and reputation, and the fact our content is positioned prominently in the social media world, search engines and news aggregators like Google, we are inundated each week with media releases. PR agencies are very appreciative to have their content featured in our newsletters, but more valuable and sought after, which these agencies are very cognizant of, is the long term gain with top visibility with Google.
eTN has worked diligently and intelligently to gain top-tier status within the industry and Google for nearly two decades. However, we can no longer permit PR agencies, while receiving compensation for their services, to expect us to provide quality coverage for their clients without eTurboNews receiving compensation.
The fiscal bottom line is, eTN is running a business, not a charity. While we do a large amount pro bono work for a wide range of global organizations, for travel brands wishing to gain market share and increase awareness, we can no longer provide free services.
eTN will continue to provide intelligent reporting, research, and completely independent of advertising. However, we have just launched new updated packages for press releases and advertorial stories to be published on our network for a modest fee.
Press releases from brands that are newsworthy, but who are unwilling to pay for their distribution may be selected to be included on eTN, but we will ask readers to pay up to $1 to read the story or pay $4 for an entire month of unlimited access to all articles on our network. A yearly package is $20. For anyone wanting to stay abreast of breaking global travel and tourism news, we trust they will consider full access to all content.
There will never be a fee for those mentioned and those reading our widely unbias and non-advertiorial highly recognized and critical editorial work.
Juergen Steinmetz, publisher of eTurboNews said: “We’re taking a first step in the industry to stop the abuse of tourism destinations and tourism brands to pay good money to their PR agencies and expect guys like us to be a free extended arm of this effort. I like to encourage other publication to follow us here, and I am open to discuss a coordinated effort with any competitor. You can contact me at [email protected] or call me anytime. When press releases become useless i or The Five Myth about PR is a good reference to read. We at eTN would love to promote your brand, cooperate with PR agencies, but we cannot do this as a free service.”