Winning media tours don't happen overnight.
It takes months of planning and preparation to schedule a media tour that delivers the kind of publicity that gets noticed in today's frenzied media culture. A poorly planned, thrown-together-at-the-last-minute media tour simply isn't capable of generating enough media interest to justify the time and expense of taking your company's story on the road.
Traditional media outlets aren't making your job any easier these days. As understaffing becomes an increasingly common fixture in many media houses, business leaders and PR professionals are finding it harder to connect with the right journalists. The bottom line is that your media tour needs all the help it can get if you hope to ever see your company name in print.
Follow these media tour tips and you'll be well on your way to conducting a successful media tour:
- Get help. It's probably never been a good idea for inexperienced business leaders to conduct their own media tours. Nowadays, it's essential to enlist the help of an experienced PR person to help organize your media tour, even it's an in-house staff person with previous PR experience.
- Be newsworthy. The number one complaint journalists have about media tours and pitches is that the stories they are pitched just aren't newsworthy. Your goal is to promote your business, but if you can't develop a story that is genuinely newsworthy don't plan a media tour.
- Schedule early (and often). It takes at least two months to plan an effective media tour and the process of scheduling face-to-face meetings with the media should begin early. Confirm with each media contact a week or so before the meeting, but schedule enough meetings to make up for last minute cancellations.
- Expand your focus. It would be great if CNN did a feature on your product – but that's probably not going to happen. If it makes sense for your campaign, by all means target major media outlets. But don't neglect trade publications and smaller media outlets. You'll probably have more success with them than you will the big guys, anyway.
- Plan for follow-up. The real work of the media tour begins after you unpack your suitcase. Media tour follow-up usually continues for up to six months after the tour ends as journalists gradually write and publish stories based on your meetings. Identify who is responsible for making follow-up calls and create methods for monitoring your progress.