With three decades of editing The Sun’s travel section behind her, Lisa Minot is a travel media heavyweight, and today she’s answering all your burning questions. Recipient of 2018’s Special Contribution Award at the Travel Media Awards, Lisa knows A LOT about the travel industry, and her corner of the media within The Sun newspaper.
Whether you want to know what she’s looking for from freelancers, or how they work with press trips, ask all those questions here and she’ll pop in throughout the day to answer.
Note: this thread will close at 4pm so get your Qs in fast!
Hi Lisa, thank you so much for taking part in this thread! I would love to know how much of your section content is written in house versus how much is written by freelancers?
How are you managing the issue of climate change and sustainable travel? How can travel writers promote responsible travel to your readers, especially that cost has become so much more of a factor?
Hi Lisa, during one of those pandemic webinars (does anyone remember those?) you and others suggested that the future would hold new opportunities for locally-based contributors (as opposed to those who 'parachute in'). To what extent, if any, do you value, seek, and commission locally-based freelancers with specialist knowledge of destinations and regions? (No prizes for guessing what that makes me.)
How interested are you in travel pitches with a strong SEO hook? Would you ever commission online pieces if someone can demonstrate there's an interest through things like search volume? And if so, what kind of metrics would you most want to see?
Also, do you ever share stats with writers on how their pieces perform online?
Hi Lisa! What are your top tips for a newbie freelance travel writer to increase their chances of having their pitch replied to/accepted?
Hi Lisa! Any insights you're able to share on the types of stories you're looking for in the coming weeks/months at The Sun would be much appreciated. Also curious if press trips are ok and if photography is of interest and paid for separately? Thanks for your time today!!
Hi Lisa, To what extent are you interested in specialist interest such as heritage or food/drink related travel as opposed to general travel features about an area? Also how interested are you in regional features rather than national overviews?
This promises to be an incredibly useful exercise, thanks Lottie and Steph for arranging!
Lisa, how far in advance do you tend to commission? For example, I have a few Finnish Lapland pitches but is the winter content already sorted?
Also, does The Sun have much need for family travel content? Thanks!
Hi Lisa. A few questions...Are you looking for print only copy? What do you need most from freelancers (destination features, travel news, listicle ideas etc)? Is there a good time/day to pitch? If we don't hear anything back from a pitch are you happy for us to chase? Thank you!
Now this may be a reality check for us all but as an editor, what are your pet peeves when it comes to working with freelancers?
Hello Lisa, Greetings from Perth! Would love to know your expectations working with freelancers in regards to pitching, supplying images etc.
Do you have any specific pitching guidelines (pillars, regulars, things you don't need etc.) that writers should adhere to in their pitches? Or are you happy to just receive what the writer thinks is suitable?