by Deirdre Willits, Regional VP, Client Solutions
I’ve been working with media tours and interviews for over a decade. My work history includes a colorful spectrum of tasks, from helping a team of pro football players with quick jersey changes to negotiating with bodyguards to get talent in front of the cameras on time. I’ve worked with celebrities, government officials, business executives, non-profit leadership, and I have worked with PR agencies of all sizes in states across the country. Through it all, the goal remains the same – get the message in front of the right audience as quickly and efficiently as possible.
No matter the story, there is one thing in common: success is critical – both in terms of return on the financial investment and the spokesperson’s time. Even with the constant barrage of information hurtling at us, a media tour is still an efficient, strategic tool to get people talking about your issue or brand. Despite the ever-changing media landscape, media tours continue to work for three reasons:
- From a single chair, the spokesperson can speak with 20-25 stations before lunch
- Even with a tightly-booked tour, there is time to perfect the message with a generic interview that can be distributed to further expand the reach of the message
- Leading and participating in the conversation is invaluable
Bigger than that though, with a media tour we have an amazing opportunity for cross-channel messaging. We have access. You’ve already invested in the time and the talent. Why not expand your multimedia tool kit while there, often for free or very little additional investment?
Consider how the message could be adjusted for use on the website or with other internal communication channels like newsletters, and record that package during a break in the media tour. A multimedia interactive news release pushes the message to a wider online audience, and an interactive conversation through a chat on Facebook after the tour can give you the power to have the conversation directly with a brand or issues’ biggest advocates there.
Today’s target audience is no longer limited to morning television. What if you also need to reach audiences watching late night, primetime, daytime or even weekend programming? Narrative marketing is a powerful, informative tool that gives you the ability to place your PR message during programming breaks on shows like Good Morning America and Ellen, and it can be done for both television and radio. These packages can be created using content captured during the media tour or a short extension to add additional production.
So what is the next big initiative you’re working on that has a production element? As campaigns take shape, plan to capture content that can be used today and additional content for use in the future. Engage every asset to your advantage while you have access, and plan to deploy your message across multiple channels where your audience finds information in order to efficiently and effectively increase the return on the investment of the media tour.