A Creative Way to Market Secondary Cities, with Kathy Condon

Episode 304

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Kathy Condon is a travel writer who has visited 29 countries, 49 States, and 16 islands. She formally trained throughout the nation on face-to-face networking. When the pandemic hit, she made the decision to become a travel writer and made a solid base while sequestered at home. Now Kathy is using her face-to-face networking skills to make a thriving travel writing career.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Kathy Condon, a travel writer who used the COVID-19 pandemic as a chance to start a totally new career in a niche she loves. Her dedication to the craft and her finely honed networking skills have ensured that her travel writing business has progressed at a tremendous pace. Kathy also shares her tips for building productive relationships with PR professionals and how she has raised her professional profile using Google Maps.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Why the pandemic prompted Kathy to pivot from her career in face-to-face networking into travel writing
  • How Kathy works with businesses and destinations to help them stand out from the crowd
  • How her previous career in networking has opened up new opportunities
  • Why trust is an integral part of how Kathy works with PR companies
  • Creative solutions that Kathy found to overcome the challenges of creating a travel-based business as the industry is recovering from a pandemic
  • Why Kathy believes that for destinations, a travel writer is a better investment than a social media influencer
  • How Kathy leverages Google Maps as a tool to showcase her skills
  • The opportunities that have come Kathy’s way because of her commitment to building genuine relationships

Visiting Underexposed Destinations

On the show, Kathy describes why she is so fascinated by so-called secondary cities. She shares some of the incredible, off-the-beaten-track places she has explored and dug deep into to find their hidden gems. Kathy highlights that PR companies are usually thrilled to work with her because of her willingness to delve into what makes an underlooked destination so unique.

We also discuss how Kathy’s previous career as a trainer and coach on face-to-face networking skills has made getting her new business off the ground so quickly possible.

Unexpected Ways to Attract Visitors

If you’re trying to attract people to a destination that doesn’t usually top the ‘must visit’ lists, you have to be creative in your marketing. Kathy explains why travel writers provide the most bang for your marketing buck because of their skill as storytellers. We discuss the value that writers like Kathy provide, including increasing a destination’s visibility on social media and using clever tools such as Google Maps to add pictures and reviews.

Writing Ethically

Authentic travel writing is firmly based on the writer’s experience of a destination, and Kathy is very clear about where she stands ethically on only writing about places she has visited herself.

We discuss the importance of staying true to your values as a travel writer in everything that you do professionally. Kathy describes why when she approaches new publications or PR organizations to pitch a story, she always commits to spending real time in a place and understanding what it offers. We also touch on the fact that as glamorous as being a travel writer seems, it can also be hard work with lots of time spent on the road.


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