With Pew Research Center’s 2016 State of the News Media showing audience growth in cable and network news, as well as an explosion in the digital video sector, brands’ communications strategy must look beyond the written word.
It can be time-consuming to plan media outreach for local and national networks, cable news, podcasts, streaming television, public radio, and social-only video; however, a satellite media tour (SMT) can help.
“SMTs are a great vehicle to reach a large amount of viewers, listeners, and readers within a short window of time,” says Risa Chuang, Director, Media Relations at MultiVu and author of Maximizing Your Budget with Media Tours.
That’s because a satellite or virtual media tour enables brands to conduct interviews with network and local news anchors, radio personalities and bloggers around the country over the course of a single morning.
These tours aren’t just efficient, though. When done right, they can be creative and compelling.
“There is a lot of creativity and value to be had in media tours. You can dress up a studio to look like a garage, a backyard, a kitchen – even a winter wonderland. If budget is higher and you’re able to go live from a remote location, the possibilities can be endless,” explains Risa.
“We’ve done media tours from mountains, national parks, racetracks, restaurants, homes, convention centers, city parks and stores. There are very few limits to what we can accomplish.”
Success all comes down to spending your budget on the right things. The first step to not breaking the bank is understanding what factors go into making a media tour.
As the brand or PR agency behind the media tour, you will be driving the action. However, media tours are a team effort – pulled together from many different directions.
“There are so many players involved in making sure the media tour runs smoothly. If one component is off, it can upset the balance of the entire tour,” says Risa.
Keep reading for four of those key components.
A lot rests on the shoulders of your media tour’s spokesperson. Your spokesperson could be an executive at your company. An internal or external subject matter expert who specializes in your tour’s topic. An A-list celebrity. Even an enthusiastic customer with an intriguing story tied to your brand – like a doctor and patient discussing a prevalent health topic.
“There may also be a media trainer involved to help with messaging, or to make the spokesperson feel more at ease with the brand’s key messages,” adds Risa.
You need to be very selective when it comes to your media tour’s talent; you can find Risa’s 5-point checklist for picking talent in her guide.
Your Pitch Team
“From a media relations perspective, we have our broadcast pitch team reaching out to television and radio producers throughout the country. If there is a blogger component, then we also have our digital pitch team reaching out to bloggers,” explains Risa.
That’s not all, though. Because media relations is such a vital, but complex piece of the media tour puzzle, you’ll benefit from behind-the-scenes help.
“Internally, we have our assignment teams booking satellite space and pulling all of the onsite logistical details together behind the scenes and our project manager who helps facilitate seamless communication and ensures nothing slips through the cracks.”
Your Production Team
As the bookings are arranged, you need to consider the video production angle of the media tour.
“This includes the satellite media tour’s producer, the studio or remote location crew, catering, stylists, and more,” says Risa.
Want to maximize your time in studio? Risa recommends incorporating a multi-tiered approach by leveraging additional options like 30 second television placements, audio news releases and other distribution options.
In that case, “if you are shooting b-roll to hot roll during each interview, there is the production filming crew and editors to consider as well.”
Your Media Strategy Partner
While satellite media tours may have gotten away with a heavily commercial angle in the past, those won’t make today’s cut.
“Stations can afford to be extremely picky when deciding on content for their morning shows. News directors have set limits on what types of branded content they will take, and in general are more sensitive about brand mentions,” comments Risa. “They receive literally hundreds of pitches a day so it’s a lot harder to grab their attention.”
A media strategy partner like MultiVu who is savvy on what works/doesn’t work can ultimately be the deciding factor in your tour’s performance.
“Every brand is different and depending on whether we are working with a pharmaceutical company, non-profit or a consumer brand, the approach can vary.”
“We have to be a lot more creative with story spin and angle, and try to advise clients much earlier in the process so we can help guide them on procuring talent, avoiding too many brand mentions, and thinking ahead about including more compelling visual elements.”
Satellite media tours can be a great way to share a specific message with a large audience, generate conversation and maximize revenue. And with strategic planning you can extend the value of your SMT investment and drive results across social, paid, owned and earned media channels.
Download our guide Maximizing Your Budget with Media Tours and learn how to get started.
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