A media tour is a series of carefully organized meetings with media contacts who have been targeted for their ability to communicate your story to the public.
Traditionally, entrepreneurs who incorporated a media tour into their PR strategy had to get on a plane and fly from city to city, conducting face-to-face meetings with journalists, editors, and analysts.
Although many businesses continue to prefer traditional media tours, high costs and overbooked journalists have caused some entrepreneurs to consider media tour alternatives. The most popular media tour alternatives rely on technology rather than travel. In some cases, it's still worthwhile to set up personal meetings with media contacts. But if you can't justify the time and expense of a travel-based media tour, here are some of the alternatives you might want to consider.
Satellite Media Tours
A satellite media tour (SMT) is a series of one-on-one interviews with broadcast journalists. But instead of traveling to the journalists' studios, the business leader and the journalist interact via satellite. Even though SMTs are almost always a one studio production, it's possible to conduct them from a remote location – a nice feature if your story or pitch centers around a specific place.
A webinar (or web seminar) is a presentation that happens via the Internet. Unlike webcasts, webinars are interactive so business leaders and reporters can participate in back and forth discussions. Web conferences can be facilitated by downloading the same software application on two computers, but a more common approach is to set up a web-based meeting with a third-party, online provider.
Phone meetings are making a comeback with journalists and media tour organizers who realize that a face-to-face meeting isn't always the most feasible option. However, media tour protocols still apply – schedule phone meetings in advance and make sure to call on time, every time.
For whatever reason, it's impossible for you to travel to the East Coast to meet with journalists. But if you have an East Coast branch or a reliable business associate in the region, someone else might be able to meet with journalists on your company's behalf.
You don't necessarily have to travel across the country to conduct a successful media tour. Sometime regional tours that feature a sequence of media stops within driving distance can be just as effective.