Media tours: taking Muhammad to the Mountain
– I can´t come, we´re closing the latest edition, please send me the press release.
How many times do PR professionals hear this when trying to organise a press conference or a showroom? Getting journalists to come to an event is becoming more and more complicated. With editorial departments reduced by half since 2008 (best case scenario) for editors it is almost impossible get out of the office and get to the quantity of press events that they used to attend before the crisis.
However, when we´re pitching for a new client, the client normally asks us to include an event for the press. If we´re going to work with a well-known company, normally it is not that difficult to get journalists to come to an event… But, what if we´re working for a brand that wants to launch in our market and that the media has never heard of them?
There is no doubt that establishing a close relationship with journalists is always beneficial when it comes to positioning our clients at the top of their mind. In our experience coverage usually doubles once we have had a face to face event with a brand and the press. In addition, following an event we find that journalists are much more willing to try out our products and we have an increased possibility of being includedin a bazaar.
So how do we overcome the difficulties of getting to meet face to face with the journalists. The answer is of course go and see them in their place of work with a media tour…
When we talk about media tours, we mean the agency and the brand, go to journalists´ editorial departments instead of them coming to our event.
The advantages are multiple:
- It saves journalists´ time because they don´t have to spend time getting to the event.
- We have an opportunity to talk to journalists and to engage them with the brand
- In just one visit to an editorial group, we can visit editors of several different publications
- We can adapt to the specific interest of each media and create an exclusive and personalized experience for each editorial
- It is a very economical action for a client that excludes all the costs that event management implies (venue, catering, animation, decoration…)
At Canela, we have always had a very positive experience with media tours. Despite some logistical complications (taking care of six journalists at the time can be real madness), the result has been more than beneficial both for clients and journalists. For example, with companies that we have launched into the Spanish market, such as Café Royal which media tour resulted in some event sponsorship proposals that were very positive for increasing the brand´s awareness, or Vinted. And with Motorola and Lenovo, clients that are already well known among media, we have managed build relationships by taking Father Christmas to get to know the journalists´ and editors´ kids while holding a photography workshop in which they had an opportunity to have first-hand experience with the latest products.
Does this mean that the days of the press event are numbered? Not at all. Events are still a must in the public relations sector, but we should always be wise when suggesting them. If we organize a media encounter, we should take into consideration two things. First of all, it is very important to make sure that we have something to tell. Organizing an event just because it’s on the client’s check list is a waste of time and money so it is important to offer journalists some added value. Secondly, if we´re focused on the consumer sector, it is important to create an experience that allows all assistants to have a total immersion with the product and the brand.
In conclusion, it is about the adapting to characteristics of each client and, above all, to their communication objectives. Working closely with a brand and knowing its needs will help us to choose an appropriate option to get journalists´ attention and in our experience think media tours are an important tool for achieving the broadest possible coverage.