Many travel publications have a solid understanding of regions, cities, and places in the US and beyond. They get why travel and people are so interesting. They can match the customer to the product well. They also have a great understanding of how to entice you, pulling you into a direction you might not have foreseen. National Geographic Traveler is one example. It has the experience and people to figure out the story, but imagine if they knew so much more about why places exist and why people cluster in certain areas?
What are the deep feelings? What are the psycholinguistics and traits of a people, a community? Having a deep understanding of people is knowing a place and giving the reader a reason to travel, understand and buy.
Before you start typing, know.
Many publications of all types could benefit from including more data before writing begins. Someone sells a content idea and now a journalist at the pub must start research. Why is it on them?
It takes considerable talent to understand a place and its people with so little time on the ground. Too often, the journalist is burdened with doing the research, understanding the place but has not set foot on the ground. Even being there does not mean you understand the vibe of the place. You might get one part right but miss so much more.
Imagine picking places based on deep understanding of the people who live in those areas, discovering things and a vibe, too often missed.
By understanding who lives in each city, what each city is about, writers can better understand where to go and how to write. The writer needs help.
Places have personalities. Some cities extrude fun and randomness while others are deliberate. Matching the reader and visitor to the place makes for pleasant experiences, pleasant reading, and influential content.
Tourism is a simple activity yet a complex topic. The cities that try to appeal to a wider audience often dilute the value of what they are. By having data at hand, you can better fit the tourist to the city or region. There is no perfect fit and it’s best to use data to aid the seller and writer before a visit.
Happiest Cities Example:
Writers often attempt to pick happy cities. Sometimes they base it on things like density of green space or number of microbreweries (true story). Sadly, many places that are incredibly happy places to live and visit are never found. Why? The data is not readily available to a writer, pressed to find some hints with a deadline looming. Some places that exhibit the same behaviors of a Boulder, Colorado but don’t quite have the street cred are missed, limiting the writer and the people who live in those places.
Using data we can help figure out why a city or a region is happy or whatever the question may be. In addition to defining what is the happy city we can define food cities, and other types of cities that typically escape the common radar.
If we have data on the psycholinguistics and traits of people, based on location, we have something that helps all sides. Both the readers as well as writer have a valuable tool, used in an ethical way, to help people find and decide what they choose.
It’s such a great pleasure to hear “that publication gets me and knows what I want”. We can infuse data to better inform publishers, writers and readers, we have a much better ecosystem for all.