Tourism North East - Editorial Policy

PURPOSE

To provide transparency to stakeholders including, but not limited to, industry operators, local and state government and resort management boards regarding the approach that Tourism North East takes to decide on editorial topic selection, including operator features.

SCOPE

This Policy applies to all TNE generated online editorial articles, social media, e newsletter inclusions and media familiarisation and article pitches, including those pitched direct to media and through partners.

PRINCIPLES

Website and eNews

The website www.victoriashighcountry.com.au and the related High Country e newsletters for visitors/potential visitors is the official tourism website of the region of Victoria’s North East or the Victoria’s High Country. The website and related e newsletter are facilitated by Tourism North East, the regional tourism board for the area.

Content on the website contained in articles and features is editorial. The editorial decisions are driven by what will be of most interest and relevance to our region’s potential visitors.  There is no funding attached to features in editorial.

Listings relating to specific businesses and events on the regional website are generated by the business themselves as an overview of their operation, as it pertains to potential visitors.  Tourism Victoria on behalf of Tourism North East reviews these listings prior to publication.  The accuracy of the listing content is the responsibility of the business or event owner.

Social Media

Tourism North East manages social media across Facebook and Instagram for High Country Harvest, See High Country, Murray to Mountains, 7 Peaks Run, 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge/Ride and Dirty Dozen.

Tourism North East generates social media coverage and shares existing coverage to these social media accounts based on the specific needs and interests of the audience for each social media account.  Tourism North East does not share advertising material through this channel.  We are careful to limit our social media frequency to maintain the interest of our audience and ensure highly relevant content to protect the integrity of each social media voice.  Imagery and video must be best in class and content must be timely in nature.

Media Pitches

Content within Tourism North East media releases and a familiarisation pitch is editorial, selected to target gaining media attention and editorial support.  Their editorial support is garnered through pitching content that has a fit with their audience’s interests, fit with their publication or outlet’s brand and historic degree of coverage on a subject already completed.  Tourism North East aims to consider the needs of media partners and establish the closest possible match to our editorial goals when deciding what content is appropriate to discuss with media partners.

EDITORIAL CONTENT

Tourism North East uses the following decision making approach to select editorial focus areas:

Brand Victoria’s High Country

Victoria’s High Country as a brand is focused on delivering our visitor with a sense of invigoration and reward through the ability to immerse themselves in and develop personal passions based on the following key experiences:

  • Food, wine and craft beer
  • Nature – both natural settings and nature-based activities
  • Cycling – road, recreational and mountain biking
  • Snow
  • Cultural Heritage

Geography

We editorialise experiences in the Victoria’s High Country region including Alpine Shire, Indigo Shire, Benalla Rural City, Rural City of Wangaratta, Towong Shire, Mansfield Shire, Hotham Alpine Resort, Mt Buller Mt Stirling Alpine Resorts and Falls Creek Alpine Resort.  At least a hero portion of the experience must be located within these areas.  An experience does not have to solely be relevant to the region and we work closely with partners in neighbouring tourism areas to bring a comprehensive picture to our visitors.

Focused Messaging

The Victorian High Country is a big region with a lot of stories to tell our visitor.  Some of these stories help a visitor decide to come and some are best delivered on the ground once they are here.  Tourism North East focuses on stories most likely to attract a visitor – new news, outstanding best in class experiences, interesting storylines, experiences aligned to a current tourism and industry trend.  We are not exhaustive in our coverage but rather focus on the most motivating stories.  This is an art not a science and good judgement is critical.  We benchmark our thinking with visitors through referencing review sites, tracking media articles related to experiences and personal visits to experiences. We work closely with local ambassadors, experts and tourism staff to ensure an up to the moment understanding of each destination’s offering.

Timeliness – Fresh Messaging

Tourism North East focuses on timely delivery of content to visitors considering in this the newness or refreshing of the offer, the seasonal relevance, the degree of historic coverage to the audience.

Inspirational and Exceptional Imagery/Content

A preference will be give to stories that are accompanied by imagery that is inspirational or of exceptional quality and relevance.  Coaching is offered when imagery needs enhancement.

Behind the Scenes and Experiential

A balanced mix of experiences is best presented to our audiences.  In this context a range of behind the scenes, hands on or highly experiential offerings will be given preference at times to maintain this balance and new news to the visitor.

Accessible

Our social media, website, e news and media articles are focused on tourist visitors from outside our region.  Tourism North East features experiences that can be booked or undertaken by any public visitor and as such does not feature locals only, exclusive/club member only experiences or those focused on business audiences or those that are sold out.

Apolitical and Appropriate

Fun and tongue in cheek content is welcomed. Tourism North East does not editorialise content of a potentially alienating, offensive or overly controversial nature. Tourism North East does not favour content due to a political agenda and will not use visitor direct communication means for advocacy purposes.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Chief Executive Officer’s and Supervisors’ Responsibilities:

  • Ensure a culture of adherence to the policy;
  • Transparently provide the policy to stakeholders;
  • Provide opportunities for discussion with stakeholders that feel the policy is not adhered to;
  • Provide opportunities for staff to discuss and enhance their decision making approach in line with the policy;
  • Review the policy annually;
    Audit the adherence to the policy on a quarterly basis.

All Staff Responsibilities:

  • To deliver their editorial responsibilities in line with the policy;
  • To seek clarification of the policy intent when needed and request changes to the
  • policy as needed;
  • Report editorial decisions that may have deviated from the policy and discuss with the CEO ways to enhance editorial merit in line with the philosophies.