An Overview of Working with San Francisco Travel’s Media Relations Team
The San Francisco Travel Media Relations Team
The San Francisco Travel Media Relations team works with nearly 1200 visiting journalists per year
(approximately 60% International and 40% domestic) to assist with travel itineraries that average three-
four nights, as well as story ideas to promote San Francisco as a travel destination. You, our International
representatives, refer many of these journalists and provide translation services when needed.
The journalists we welcome as a result of your efforts are very important to us, and we will always do our
best to provide additional assistance and attention to all visiting international journalists. However, please
remember that our time to spend with each visiting journalist is extremely limited, unless it is a special
project that has been proposed and agreed upon. Below is a contact list for San Francisco Travel’s Media
Director, Media Relations International
Director, Media Relations US & Canada
Associate, Media Relations & Marketing Services
Below is a list of helpful guidelines to enable the San Francisco Travel Media Relations department to best
work with international journalists and keep you updated on information pertaining to San Francisco.
Prior to Arrival to San Francisco:
1. The first step for journalists requesting assistance with their visits is to determine their dates of
travel. Our hotels will not offer their support without knowing the specific dates of the request.
During major conventions, some hotels will either sell out or be too full to extend a
complimentary or media rate. The Convention Calendar may be accessed at http://convention-
calendar.sanfrancisco.travel/meetings_nonmembers.asp. Any group of more than 3,000 people
may have an effect on availability of rooms for media.
2. With rare exceptions, San Francisco Travel does not have the budget to pay for airfare. We
recommend that journalists contact the airlines directly if they need complimentary tickets.
3. When forwarding journalists to the San Francisco Travel media relations department, please
always include a completed "Accommodations Request Form” form (please see attached). It is
extremely important for us to know the journalists' contact information, circulation/viewer ship,
and the exposure the host hotel(s) may receive.
4. We will have a greater success securing accommodations if we are provided at least three-weeks’
advanced notice, when possible. Please understand that San Francisco Travel cannot guarantee
finding hosted rooms or press rates, especially if the journalist is visiting during a large
convention. Of course we understand that there will be exceptions to this, and we will do our
best to accommodate every visiting journalist, despite the lead-time.
5. Once we receive the completed Accommodations Request Form, we send a Publicity Alert to
our partners in relevant categories (accommodations, restaurants, tours, attractions, etc.). We
will include instructions for the partners to either contact us or the journalist directly.
6. Our hotels will generally host up to two nights if they have availability. Media rates in San
Francisco range from $75 - $225 USD. Some journalists opt to change hotels during their stay
rather than pay for rooms.
7. When San Francisco Travel sends hotels offers to you on behalf of a journalist, please respond as
soon as possible since the offers are based on availability and can expire.
8. In some occurrences, the San Francisco Travel media relations department will create a custom
itinerary for International visiting journalists, especially if it is their first visit to San Francisco.
However, we encourage journalists, when appropriate, to make direct contact with our travel
partners to schedule appointments that are mutually beneficial to both parties (unless it is a
press tour involving a group of journalists).
9. For journalists familiar with San Francisco, we encourage sending out electronic versions of San
Francisco Travel’s Visiting Journalist Handbook, which is updated regularly and may be found in
the media section of the website: http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/media/media-
10. Please also let them know that the media section of the site
http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/media/ is an extremely valuable resource. The Media section of
the website includes:
a. Media Resources: http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/media/media-resources/ (photo
gallery; Visiting Journalist Handbook; on-line press kit; request for B-Roll; San Francisco
statistics; a guide to filming in San Francisco; San Francisco events)
b. San Francisco In The News: http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/media/sf-in-the-news/
i. (highlights recent domestic and international media coverage on San Francisco)
c. All About San Francisco: http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/media/all-about-sf/
11. For journalists who are interested in writing about areas outside of San Francisco, or “Beyond the
Bridge,” we will gladly provide them with the appropriate CVB contact for their area of interest
(ie Napa/Sonoma; Yosemite; Lake Tahoe; San Jose; Berkeley/Oakland; and Sacramento).
However, please encourage these journalists to include San Francisco and SFO as the preferred
gateway to these surrounding areas and we will assist them with the aspects of their stories that
relate to the San Francisco portion.
12. Because of Copyright issues, San Francisco Travel does not possess photos of partner’s tours,
restaurants or buildings. If you need a specific photo that is not on the Photo Gallery section of
our Web site, http://photo-library.sanfrancisco.travel/photolibrary/sfcvb/categories.asp we will
put you, or the journalist, in touch with the specific partner to request high-resolution photos.
13. To access and download images from the San Francisco Travel Association’s online photo gallery,
please click here: http://photo-library.sanfrancisco.travel/photolibrary.asp
i. Once prompted, please use the following access codes:
ii. Username: mediatree
iii. Password: sfimages
14. SFO (San Francisco International Airport) Please be sure to always incorporate San Francisco
International Airport (SFO) in your story ideas to journalists positioning SFO as the “Favorite
Gateway to North America.” Please emphasize with each journalist the importance of including
SFO in their articles, including service information from their respective point of origin into SFO.
It is extremely important that each visiting journalist receive a guided tour of the International
terminal upon arrival into San Francisco (if possible), which is an integral part of the arrival
experience. Attached is a link to the filming guidelines for SFO:
SFO copy points:
SFO is the “Favorite Gateway to North America.”
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 31
international points and over 74 non-stop cities in the U.S.
For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on
shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit
Attached are two press releases about the facilities at SFO. Please feel free to share
these with journalists
Upon Arrival to San Francisco:
Each visiting journalist receives a San Francisco Travel press kit which is delivered to their hotel. The kit
o A San Francisco Visitors Planning Guide
o The official San Francisco Visitors Map
o A San Francisco Fact Sheet with everything from statistics to city trivia
o The monthly “What’s New in San Francisco” press release -- ideal for long lead articles (Previous
editions of “What’s New” are posted under “Press Release Library”
o A complimentary San Francisco CityPASS ticket booklet which includes admission to:
o The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park www.calacademy.org
o Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise www.blueandgoldfleet.com
o San Francisco Museum of Modern Art www.sfmoma.org
o Aquarium of the Bay www.aquariumofthebay.com
o Exploratorium www.exploratorium.edu or The deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park
www.deyoungmuseum.org and the Legion of Honor www.famsf.org/legion/index.asp
o Muni and Cable Car passes www.sfmuni.com – valid for seven consecutive days – providing
transportation to each CityPASS attraction plus the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf
o A complimentary City Sightseeing Press Pass, which offers four different open-top routes showcasing
the city’s most popular attractions www.city-sightseeing.us. To take one or more of these tours,
simply “hop on” one of the City Sightseeing buses at any marked stop located in the brochure and
show the driver your press pass. If interested in one of the tours outside of San Francisco (Muir
Woods, Wine Country, Monterey/Carmel and Yosemite National Park), please email info@city-
sightseeing.us or call + 1 415 440 8697 and reference: Visit San Francisco Press Special prior to your
required tour date to determine availability
We encourage all journalists to use BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to travel within or outside San
Francisco, or upon departure to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). We ask the journalist prior to
their arrival if they would like to receive a complimentary BART ticket (value $8.25) in their press kit. This
ticket may be used for one-way transportation to SFO or for multi-use within and outside San Francisco.
Please also encourage journalists to visit San Francisco Travel’s newly renovated Visitor Information
Center (VIC), located at 900 Market St. at the corner of Powell and Market Streets, lower level, Hallidie
Plaza, for complimentary brochures and maps and tips from our multi-lingual staff and include the VIC in
their articles. We include this in each welcome letter.
1. Journalists should always include San Francisco’s official visitor web site
http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/ in their articles, which is extremely helpful for travelers who are
planning their itineraries to San Francisco, including an online booking engine for hotels,
attractions and packages
2. Because San Francisco Travel does not have an international clipping service, please be sure to
track all resulting press clippings on the excel spreadsheet sent via email on Aug. 2 and send pdf
files to our offices via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. When necessary, hard copies may be
mailed to 201 Third. St., Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103.
3. Please encourage journalists to sign up for San Francisco Travel’s press release RSS feed at
http://www.sanfrancisco.travel/feed.rss and click "subscribe now." Each time the site is updated,
the information will be sent to their RSS subscriptions.
4. Please encourage journalists to follow San Francisco on Twitter at http://twitter.com/onlyinsf and
on Facebook at www.facebook.com/onlyinsf.