How to Rock Your Next Media Tour
Your client is about to make a big announcement or wants to promote the company’s latest campaign. You know what that means…time to plan another media tour. The question is, how do you make the most of the time and effort that goes into setting up a tour?
Below are some tips you can use to help your client look like a rock star.
- Time it Right – Give yourself four to six weeks to pitch the media. You need time to draft your pitch, research the appropriate media contacts, conduct the outreach and follow up. It’s rare that you’ll get responses on the first round of pitching. Getting answers from the media can take some persistence.The time of year is also important to consider. You can’t book your client on a national talk show in the summer since they are on re-runs. Are you trying to book a guest during sweeps? Will you be competing with the holidays? An election? Make sure you are aware of the date(s) that you’re selecting so you can be sure to get the most open schedule possible.
- Hone in on Your Targets – If you are planning a media tour in NYC, the types of media available to pitch can seem limitless. Try to hone in on what your dream day of interviews for your client would look like, and go from there. Who is the audience you are trying to reach? Are they more accessible by radio, TV, Internet or traditional print media? You’ll probably find it will be a mixture. Quality is more important than quantity when building your media list. Make sure you’re approaching the right contact.
- Plan – I always add a schedule tab to my media list where I keep track of confirmed and tentative interview dates and times. This allows me to see at a glance what the day(s) are looking like in real time. Don’t schedule interviews too close together. This prevents stress if the first interview of the day runs late, eating into and delaying the rest of they day’s interviews. This is especially important when working with broadcast for live TV or radio. Ask your media contact how long they estimate the interview taking, if you need to arrive early and for any special instructions when you arrive.
- Put Pen to Paper – Before every media tour, draft a briefing book, which should include every possible detail. Items for the briefing book include: the schedule at-a-glance, a one-pager for each interview with media outlet info, contact info (including cell phone), sample interview questions, social media handles and key messages. Don’t forget to include details of accommodations and transportation as well. Share the book with your client as soon as possible so he/she can prepare as well.
- Be Flexible – You have your briefing book in hand and your schedule confirmed. You’re all set, right? Not exactly. Be prepared for change as the media tour will never follow the schedule exactly as you’ve laid it out. Without fail, your client will miss their train, an interview will run over or any number of things will happen. Don’t panic. Remember, you’re prepared with all your contacts’ cell phone numbers. A quick call can get you back on track.
- Show Off – You did the work, now show it off! A great wrap-up report is something you can prepare in advance and have ready to add in last-minute details. Plan to send within a day after the tour is complete. Make sure to include the number of interviews secured, interviewer and outlet, impressions and any social media activity. Also include any clips that have been published and the anticipated dates for those that are pending.
Conducting a media tour is no easy task. You’ll undoubtedly spend more time planning and logistics than you ever thought possible. If you plan well enough though, it will all be worth it when you get great results for your client!