An agency magazine can help inspire clients while showcasing product and expertise. What are the various options available?
A glossy magazine can provide an invaluable insight into the service, destinations and experiences an agency offers, and there are multiple ways of creating one.
Carrick Collection magazine is a key component of Advantage member Carrick Travel’s marketing.
Published twice a year, its 20 pages are written in-house, with first-person destination features and branch profiles.
Joint owner Tracey Carter explains: “We’ve created it for 10 years and it’s a great vehicle for us as it’s totally personal. We’ve had some really good bookings from it but, for us, it’s about keeping in touch with our database.
“Customers can pigeonhole you, so a magazine can give a flavour of the different things you can do.”
The publication is produced and distributed to 5,000 customers by marketing specialist 3for, with a digital version used for social-media and e-shots.
It also includes adverts from tour operators, which Carter sources.
“The support from operators means a good proportion of our production and postage costs are covered, so it isn’t an expensive outlay for us,” she says.
For a personalised magazine without the time commitment, consider a white-label option, such as Travelspeak.
Prices for the 24-page publication start from £335 for 150 copies. Alongside features and news, each issue includes four pages of bespoke content, including a customised front cover, editor’s letter and back pages. These can be used for advertising space, and needn’t be limited to travel suppliers.
Agency Journey the World runs adverts from local dentists, restaurants and cocktail bars in their edition of Travelspeak, and those companies in turn display copies.
Claire Kirby, manager of the Knowle branch, says: “We print 800 copies each time. It gets our name out locally and the magazines are really useful to hand out at events or in goody bags. We also send them out with our Christmas cards.”
Many operators will also create magazines that they can white-label for agencies. Gold Medal personalises 5,000 copies of its Worldwide Travel Magazine for free, providing publications to 115 stores plus homeworkers across six agency groups.
The editorial magazine is produced three times a year by Gold Medal’s marketing team. Agents can change the title’s name, add their logo and contact details, and e-versions are also available.
Kerry Gallagher, Gold Medal’s marketing director, explains: “Having physical magazines in stores is beneficial as they inspire customers when they’re planning their next holiday, giving them ideas and information on a range of destinations to help them reach a decision.
“Our tactical offers within the publication feature the very best pricing and value- added offers to showcase our great product range.”
Lincolnshire Co-operative Travel has received Gold Medal’s white-labelled magazines for six years, with copies displayed in branches’ seating areas and in brochure racks.
Operations manager Julie Walters says: “It provides us with some great deals, which helps us promote to customers. [They] really enjoy having a printed copy as it is something they can take away with them to read.”
The Global Travel Group offers its members Beyond magazine. Published three times a year, it is written and designed by the group’s marketing team, with dates and prices avoided ensuring it has a long shelf life.
While the generic version is free, for a small charge agents can personalise it by changing the title and editor’s letter and adding branding.
“As a new company, and not having any collateral ourselves, it was fantastic to have another tool in our armoury.”
Global’s commercial director Cherie Richards says: “The aim is to give our members something tangible and professional to share with their customers. The benefit of sending a printed magazine is that it gives their business a sense of legitimacy, as well as inspiring their customers on their next journey and prompting them to visit their travel agent to make those plans a reality.”
Among the 100 members using the magazine is Keeva Travel in Westbury – which was founded in 2018 by Beneditta McManus and her husband Rory – and caters to corporate and leisure clients.
McManus opted to use the magazine soon after launching, changing the name to Keeva Luxury Travel Magazine. “We use the editor’s letter to sell our business, with a call to action and an overview of our business,” she explains.
“As a new company, and not having any collateral ourselves, it was fantastic to have another tool in our armoury. We used it to drive business, taking it to trade shows, golf days and local shows.
“We also ensure our executive car hire service has it available in vehicles for clients, as it shows we can help with their leisure travel too. Anyone reading it would assume the content was ours, as it’s so personalised.”
Laura May, editor of Kuoni Magazine, shares her tips for creating a standout publication
Content is king: Readers should find your magazine inspiring, helpful and entertaining, so look for interesting angles, or interview someone in a destination for a local perspective.
Make it punchy: Round-ups such as “Top 10s” are easy to digest for those having a quick browse, and remember the power of a well- designed layout – if it looks professional, so will your company.
Self-publicise: Include calls to action with regular reminders of your phone number and company name throughout. Be clear about who you are and your contact details in the opening pages of the magazine.
Be inspiring: Highlight bookable product. We use “Inspired?” boxes on many of our features, helping readers match the editorial with relevant information.
Paint a picture: Great imagery is essential. It brings the words to life. We use imagery from hoteliers and tourist boards, as well as stock imagery from image banks such as iStock and Shutterstock.