Media Tours, anyone? Some do's and don'ts. . .

Happy New Year Everyone!

It’s Kelly, LCI’s friendly Senior Account Executive. As the post-holiday blues have started to clear, I’ve found myself and my clients in media tour heaven. Three clients, two weeks and countless meetings with media – it’s hard to know where to begin.

Clients need to be seen and heard all over the country, not just on your respective coast. So, what’s the best way to get your client on the radar of editors whose offices are 2,000 miles away?? Take your clients to see em’. That’s right; pack your bags because we are going back east next month.

Over the years I have found myself pitching media appointments for clients ranging from Ancestry tracking devices (that really didn’t work) to children’s toys to chocolate (best. client. ever ;o). Products and editors ran the gamut, but I found that no matter the product, my pitching techniques stayed the same.

Who to pitch? Aside from the editor whose beat is most appropriate for your client, go online and research articles written about similar products. That will help to unearth new publications/editors you didn’t realize covered your specific topic. Another idea is to call the publication directly and ask who covers automotive, science, technology, etc. Many times the receptionist is your best asset to locating an appropriate editor.

Don’t forget about the bloggers! As we all know, media outlets worldwide are suffering from economic casualties. As a result, publications are looking to fill their voids with online communities because A) they have the ability to reach more readers; circulations are dropping, but unique visitors per month are on the rise and B) bloggers work from home, so offices will have less overhead. When pitching a blogger, suggest meeting them for coffee. They will be more likely to agree to a meeting that doesn’t include you invading their private turf (aka, their home) and who doesn’t like free refreshments?

A friendly warning….don’t suggest meeting for a drink. This can lead to: being drunk (the editor will never remember what you took them out to talk about in the first place), a HUGE bill (that you will be responsible for) or unearthing characteristics about the editor that you never wanted to see. I ended up in a strip club one night…..don’t ask…..I still have nightmares. . .

What to pitch? When I first started pitching, it was all about how much info I could stuff into one email. Not the case anymore…editors want information that is quick, simple and to the point. What do you want? Why is your product important to the editor/publication? How easy will you make this process for them? Never make a media appointment longer than 30 minutes. Editors don’t have the time to spare. In fact, if you can get out of the meeting within 15 minutes, you are golden to them ;o)

Be punctual to the meetings! Call if you are going to be late, but do absolutely everything you can, short of calling in the national guard, to ensure you are on time, if not a early to the meeting. When you get there, be prepared, have press kits, business cards, visuals, etc. ready to go. Say what you need to say, and then be on your way.

Follow-up is SO important. Many times editors will meet with you and then put your product in a pile to be reviewed at a much later date. As soon you get back to the office, send a thank you note letting the editor know how much it meant to you and your client to have their attention that day. Also, this will give you a chance to pass along your contact info once again, so it will be easy for them to connect you to the product in the event that they need more info.

So that’s it. May be common sense to many, but new and exciting news for others. Write me back or comment with your own ideas of best tips for a successful media tour. I’m all ears. kelly’landispr.com.

In closing, here are some fun and buzzworthy San Francisco activities for the New Year:

California Academy of Sciences (www.calacademy.org): Most fun place to hang on a Saturday!

Foreign Cinema (www.foriegncinema.com): Food, cinema and party lights!

Fairtex Muay Thai Fitness (www.muaythaifairtex.com): I still can’t feel my legs ;o)

San Francisco Symphony (www.sfsymphony.org): Michael Tilson Thomas….need I say more?

admin

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 Comments

  1. david Reply

    Kelly: all good thoughts and as I always say to clients: If you want to get noticed by major media, make the effort to go to them and develop your own relationship with them firsthand. Technology and email only go so far. . . Cheers, David

  2. Jay Van Vechten Reply

    Hello all: I have very mixed feelings about media tours. In days gone by I loved them, but over the years the opportunities for booking a client on a locally produced TV talk, news or radio show has waned at best. Locally produced morning talk programs have been replaced by syndicated shows. Morning, noon and drive time news programs have been cut to the bare minimum, all but eliminating time for live, in-studio guests. Newspapers are in a free fall, with staff cut backs and reduced circulation. The magazine industry is floundering. And so where does that leave us? Can we justify the expenses of a national tour to a client? I can’t, unless I know can we score numerous bookings in NY, Chicago and LA….then we might consider the expenses for a 3 city tour worthwhile.

    What I do suggest more often than not is a satellite tour, with a company that has daily experience in knowing where to find opportunities for booking a client on an appropriate local market media outlet. It might not be in Phili, Houston or Denver, but secondary markets when stacked up can amount to decent saturation of your intended message points. Radio media tours can work nicely as well.

    With both TV and radio, you need to limit your spokespeople to two experts. For TV, have the booking company pre send “B” roll footage and any other visuals you can provide to strengthen placement opportunities.

    With a four hour satellite window you can reach upwards of 20 interviews in 20 diverse markets. Feel free to tell the booking company that of the 20, they need to focus on a few cities that are specifically important to your client’s needs. Limit the number to under 10, then give the bookers the latitude they need to make your client…and you….happy.

    Over the years I would guess that I’ve participated in over 45 media tours and as many satellite tours. So I hope this insight helps.