Since we moved to Siem Reap just over two years ago, I’ve received dozens of requests from business owners, hotel managers and staff working in tourism and hospitality to offer media and social media workshops. I’m in the process of setting some dates and identifying venues for those.

Rarely does a day go by when I don’t chat with someone working in tourism and hospitality here in Cambodia and get quizzed about how to use the media and social media to get the word out about a new business, product or event, so I’ve decided to finally do something about it.

Typically, I’m fielding questions from new marketing/PR managers of boutique hotels who have been tasked with inviting journalists and bloggers to stay, travel company owners who know they need to start using social media but don’t know where to begin, and time-poor small business owners, managers and employees, from sales staff to chefs, who know they need to do something but are not sure what.

I’ve decided to run a series of workshops. I’ve chosen the more flexible, hands-on workshop approach over a more formal presentation so you’re not just listening to me talk non-stop for an hour. Instead, we can share practical problems and find solutions together, and in the process develop a real-world social media community that not only markets your product but promotes Siem Reap as a tourist destination.

Having said that, I guarantee you that each session will be jam-packed with practical advice based on my considerable experience and ideas that you can implement right away. Here’s what to expect…

Media and Social Media Workshops in Siem Reap

Based on the most common complaints and questions I get asked – from “how can I tell if a blogger is worth investing in?” and “what do writers really want from us when we’re here?” to “should I be using Facebook or Twitter?” and “what the hell is a content strategy and why do I need to know about it?” – I’ve developed a series of workshops covering the following topics:

  1. Getting your business/organisation/products in print and online
  2. Working with travel/food journalists, writers and bloggers
  3. Social media 101: intro to the most useful social media channels
  4. Website vs blog vs Facebook page – which should it be?
  5. Twitter and Instagram 101 – basics for your business
  6. Blogging for beginners – where to start
  7. Storytelling for social media – essentials for those who have the basics
  8. Creating an engaging content strategy – from big picture to day-to-day

I recognize everyone is busy and will get even busier as high season approaches, so I’m envisaging running very concise workshops limited to sixty minutes each with time for questions at the end for those who have time to stay. What you can expect is one hour crammed with punchy, practical strategies, techniques and tips that you can immediately begin to incorporate into your media and social media work.

Who should attend?

Anyone responsible for any aspect of media relations, social media, content creation, PR, marketing, sales, promotion, publicity, advertising, and events, or managing people who are. While my focus will be on tourism and hospitality and I’ll be providing practical examples and case studies that are transferable to other fields, from the arts and culture to retail and entertainment. After all, there’s a distinct overlap between these fields in Siem Reap, where almost everyone has some kind of connection to tourism. NGO operators and staff will also get a lot of out of these.

When and where will these happen?

I’m currently looking at venues within central Siem Reap and looking for venues to host these workshops free-of-charge so I can keep the workshop prices low. If you have a quiet, cool space with good Wi-Fi and a projector, and would like to host a workshop, you’ll get to send one staff member along to participate at no charge. You’ll also get a group of participants who will not only get to see and experience your venue, but for one hour will be sharing, tweeting and instagramming it!

I’ve been asked to hold sessions in both the middle of the day (around noon-2pm) and at the end of the day (around 5pm), so I’m planning to mix it up. If there’s something you really want to do and are restricted to a specific time and can organize a group of colleagues and/or friends, get in touch and let me know what time suits you and I can arrange something bespoke.

What should you bring?

Aside from yourself, you’ll need to bring a smart phone loaded with the relevant apps, but I highly recommend you bring your laptop also. You should be signed up to the relevant websites and have downloaded the apps and set up accounts before you attend a session. If you’re a complete newbie to social media, after you sign up for a session I will email basic instructions to get you started. You might also find a good old-fashioned notebook and pen will come in handy.

What do they cost?

I’ll be offering special introductory rates for the first series, discounts to NGOs, and one place free-of-charge per session to Cambodian students/NGO staff. Payment by PayPal can be made in advance while cash payments can be made at the start of each workshop. Discounts can be offered to participants who wish to do more than one session:
Business owners/managers/employees: US$50 per session
NGO managers/staff/volunteers: US$15 per session

Why am I running these workshops?

I’m an established, widely published, Siem Reap-based, travel and food writer who writes for some of the world’s best publications and websites, from The Guardian to CNN Travel, Australian Gourmet Traveller to Delicious. I have a few relevant degrees in communications and media and taught at university-level for some years. (More about me here). I also happen to be one of the world’s first professional travel bloggers and my site Grantourismo is the #1 travel blog in Cambodia, #2 in Australia, and can fall anywhere between #52 and #102 in the world depending upon which list you consult. It has had millions of visitors in its short life of five years.

I have 47,251 social media followers (as at the start of August 2015; followers increase all the time) and I’m considered by Klout to be an expert in the very top percentage of influencers on social media in the following subjects, falling within the top 0.1%: travel, tourism, hotels and resorts, restaurants, food, food festivals, cooking, Cambodia, Bangkok, Thailand, Sydney, Melbourne, and in the top 0.2-0.9% in travel writing, romantic getaways, road trips, Vietnam, and Laos. Last week our tweets on our @gran_tourismo account on Twitter alone had a reach of 1.1 million and that was a quiet week. I’ve worked with a long list of travel and hospitality brands on an array of social media projects and campaigns. More details here.

How do you sign up?

If you or your staff would like to attend one or more of my media or social media workshops in Siem Reap, please complete the enquiry form below and as soon as I’ve set some dates and locked in the first venues, I’ll contact you.

If you work for a large organisation and you’d like me to hold a private workshop or series of workshops specifically crafted to suit your organisation’s needs, do get in touch.

If you’re not sure which session(s) will best benefit you and your organization, feel free to email me or contact me via Facebook @laradunston and we can chat about where you’re at in terms of your social media skills and content strategy and what your needs are: laradunston@me.com