About Global Citizens Association

The not-for-profit Global Citizens Association (GCA) exists to enhance global learning and lifestyles for its members through safe and healthy world travel. The GCA provides resources, international medical assistance information and related services.

Global Citizens Association's Mission

To help GCA members successfully pursue international living experiences that increase cross-cultural understanding.

Global Citizens Association + Scribewise

Scribewise has helped GCA to establish a thought leadership foothold in the industry through the creation and management of a content hub.

Michael Hartung, Director, Global Citizens Association

Moira Bishop, Marketing and Communications

On developing a content marketing strategy

Michael Hartung: We were working with Scribewise founder John Miller back in 2008 (even before Scribewise existed!) and searching for a way to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. We were struggling to get traction with public relations; the concept of “healthy travel” slips through the cracks of legacy media’s coverage of health and travel. John suggested what was then called “owned media” – starting a blog and covering the space ourselves.

Moira Bishop: From the beginning, it was clear that we would have the most success by focusing on “news you can use” for global citizens, rather than promotional material.

Michael Hartung: In the early days of Healthy Travel Blog, John’s team acted as Managing Editor, providing editorial direction. Most of our content creation and content promotion was handled internally with our partner, HTH Worldwide. As time has gone by, we’ve given Scribewise more and more responsibility for the success of Healthy Travel Blog.

A turnkey solution for success

Michael Hartung: Scribewise helped us build Healthy Travel Blog from the ground up. We started with a blank slate and now have an engaged community of over 120,000 visitors a year. Importantly, the people visiting the site are the right people. That audience is growing, as we continue to see big jumps in traffic. Our year-over-year growth last month (January, 2017) was more than 48 percent.

Moira Bishop: We’re also seeing the same kind of momentum on social media, which has been an important springboard for building our owned audience. For instance, we handed Scribewise the reins to our social media in 2016, and within four months they grew our Facebook audience by 75 percent.

Scribewise is a partner we trust

Moira Bishop: Scribewise makes it easy for us to have success. They set and manage our editorial calendar, create the bulk of the content, manage the website and handle social media promotion.

Michael Hartung: Marketing and online media have changed a lot, and the pace of change only seems to get faster. Scribewise has helped us pivot when it’s appropriate; they stay on top of the latest trends, while always remaining committed to the overarching strategy. We’re now placing even greater emphasis on the importance of Healthy Travel Blog, and Scribewise is helping to drive us towards where we want to be in order to have the greatest possible impact.

Moira Bishop: They’ve proven that they know what they’re doing, and they have our best interests at heart.

Content marketing drives the conversation

Michael Hartung: A decade ago, we were having a hard time getting traction with mainstream media. Today, there’s a new, niche conversation that we created and continue to drive forward. This has been a strategy that has worked for us, and we’re excited about continuing to evolve it forward.

Results

In 2009, major media largely ignored the healthy travel space; health reporters reported on new studies and breakthroughs, while travel reporters wrote about destinations. There was a gap waiting to be filled, and Healthy Travel Blog filled it.

From zero to 10,000 monthly visitors, Healthy Travel Blog has made a mark, created a new conversation, and continues to build a community of global travelers. The content marketing initiative has won a number of awards as a “must-read blog” for travelers.

The GCA no longer needs to rely upon mainstream media to get its message out; it has a built an audience it can communicate with directly, and thereby have a more meaningful, in-depth conversation. Perhaps most importantly, Healthy Travel Blog now offers GCA new revenue streams by leveraging the audience that has been built.