Several readers have written to ask why we didn’t visit Colonial Williamsburg during our recent trip to Virginia, suggesting that it would be a good story for the Gypsy Journal. We have also had e-mails from readers in the last couple of weeks wanting to know why we didn’t tour this place or that place during our week in Washington D.C., and asking how we choose which places to write about.
Several factors play into it, including our personal interests, the time we have available, whether or not we have covered something similar in a recent issue, and whether or not the attraction, museum, or whatever will give us complimentary admissions, and a media kit to help us develop a story.
We have no interest in theme parks, so you’ll probably never read a feature about Dollywood, Disneyland, or Silver Dollar City in the paper or the blog. Besides which, those places have been done to death. When possible, we prefer the lesser known attractions and places to visit. That’s not to say we don’t hit some major stops along the way – in the new issue of the Gypsy Journal we have stories on the National Holocaust Museum, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Newseum, and the American Indian Museum, to name a few.
Terry and I love history, and we could easily fill every issue with just stories about this famous Revolutionary War or Civil War battlefield, that old fort, and those historic homes. But not everybody is a history nut, so we have to try and temper our interests and include different kinds of stories to make the Gypsy Journal meet a wide variety of interests.
Some readers wanted to know why we didn’t tour the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum while we were in Washington. Well, first of all, we just didn’t have the time. And, we have done stories in the past on the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida; the Pima Air Museum in Tucson; and the Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas. Not to mention a couple of rocket museums along the way.
We also have a policy of not paying to tour an attraction that we are then going to write about and give thousands of dollars worth of free publicity to. We visit a lot of places in the course of a year, and paying $15, $20, or more each for the two of us to get into all of them would not fit into our budget. We’d have loved to have visited Colonial Williamsburg and included a feature story for the paper, but they declined to supply us with media passes, or even a media kit to work with. Hopefully we can work something out with them the next time we’re in that area.
This may sound like we’re looking for a handout, but that’s not the case at all. Every publication, indeed every business, has a budget that they work within. When we work together with an attraction, we both win. We feel that we give the places we write about a lot of excellent exposure, and judging by the feedback we get from them, they do too. If an attraction or museum won’t provide us media passes, and we don’t have a deep enough interest or desire to pay to see it, we’ll look for someplace else to write about.
There is never a shortage of places for us to discover, and the good news is that if we don’t got to some attraction this time around, we have a great excuse to go back again someday!
Thought For The Day – Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.