By Megan Gasper, Publicist

Lifestyle agency publicists know (and my colleagues will back me up!), your brain never truly turns off from the job. When we walk down the streets, instead of businesses or potential dinner spots, we see potential marketing partnerships or new clients. When we read our favorite magazines, we see the names of new writers and the beats they are exploring. And yes, when we are posting on our own Insta stories, we find new influencers to work with, too. Everything is an opportunity; you just have to look for it. Traveling is no different. It gives a publicist the chance to take a break from the pitching, scheduling and hustle and bustle of daily meetings and calls, allowing their creativity to shine. I know I don’t have to even say it, but there are tons of benefits to changing your perspective and broadening your world view with a trip! Here are the hidden treasure troves the Heron Agency team looks for when jet setting around the world.

Bus stops, train stations and airports are happening places full of information. When we are on the road, we look high and low for new publications we haven’t heard of before and pick up a copy to go. I leave extra room in my carry on for newfound pubs and make it a challenge. Securing a placement in an inflight magazine or another new publication can make a huge difference in a client campaign. Being in the know is key!

What’s better than the airport or another transportation spot? Restaurant lobbies, hotel lobbies, museum lobbies. Gathering business cards, looking for fun promotions and speaking with members of each the business teams before enjoying your meal, stay or tour of an exhibit is the perfect way to generate new business, creative activation ideas and overturn previously unturned opportunities. If we love something a restaurant is doing when we visit, we will definitely borrow the idea to implement with a client back in Chicago, if we can. Seeing trends in new places can give publicists greater insight to what is next, what works and where the next big sensation may come from, allowing us to jump ahead of the curve!

Publicists love connections, and no, I don’t mean connecting flights! The people are just as important as the destination when you are traveling and getting to network outside of official events can be beneficial to both a person’s personal and business connections. You’ll find us chatting up our fellow plane row members, speaking with the general managers of hotels and just enjoying the company of locals and other travelers along the way. We never know who we’ll meet and that’s the beauty.

Whether you’re a publicist, know one, want to be one or just like to travel, I think we can all agree that the greatest draw for travelers to go anywhere is the journey, learning and experiencing life with fresh eyes. As I write this I am counting down the hours until I fly to Peru for nine days. As our agency grows, who knows, our next clients could have an extra Peruvian flair. For now, adios!