“Always talk about what you know best”, they say. And I can tell you that, after organizing more than 300 media trips, you sort of get experienced in it, don’t you?
This is exactly what we are going to be covering the next weeks in GWB: how to organize a successful media trip and get the best out of it. Today we will talk about what a media trip is and what its opportunities and risks are.
Note: To keep these posts simple and make as many examples as possible we are going to have a fictitious member of a non-existing media outlet with us: let’s welcome Ms. Allison Smith from The Flamingo Times.
A media trip is a PR activity organized by a brand (or by its PR Agency) to publicize its products by inviting a certain media outlet to get familiarized with them on-site. Journalists, editors, bloggers or other media reps get formally invited to a trip that is sponsored by a company that wants its services, its team or its philosophy to get promoted across the media.
This basically means that a complete stranger (yes, the above Allison Smith) will come to your house, stay with you for some days, eat your food and play with your dog in the garden while you try to make her believe that your handmade lemonade is the best in town. You will then expect her to tell all of her friends about you when she gets home and, of course, write a 6-page article in the Flamingo Times!
- The output of a media trip can be espectacular since it is supposed to bring you great publicity! Your company or client can get extraordinary media coverage from it.
- Organizing a media trip is relatively cheaper and the ROI is way higher than buying an ad page in a glossy magazine.
- You will strengthen both business and personal links with the participants and get really close to them. Sharing this trip experience with Ms. Allison Smith and being the perfect host are the keys to long term relationships with The Flamingo Times.
- Do it well and you will get the participants to talk about you the whole time with their colleagues, friends and relatives. Unconsciously Allison will become a brand ambassador of your company or client and will spread the virus!
- Organize it the right way and you will succeed. Organize it the wrong way and better get ready for the apocalypse. The good and the bad of a media trip is that you are giving free on-site access to somebody who’s got power in his/her fingers. So if anything goes wrong, it can have the opposite result: it can turn Ms. Allison Smith’s dream experience into a nightmare and have horrible consequences in her final publication about you.
- The cost will certainly depend on how good you make partnership with your providers and how successful you are when asking for free stuff or great discounts. Get Allison to talk about how good the lobster was in the Fishy-Mishy Bar you took her to during her media trip and, voilà, get that dinner for free!
- You should trust 100% the journalist and the media outlet you are inviting before spending a single coin on the media trip. Get feedback from your PR Agency and try the media outlet to sign an agreement. Otherwise you can find yourself in the horrible situation of hosting somebody who is not intending to publish anything at all.
Media Trips have traditionally been used in the tourism and travel industry as a way to promote destinations, hotels, restaurants, cruises, golf courses, etc. However, the possibilities of a media trip are endless and its purposes are infinite. With the right focus and a lot of creativity they can also be used by companies that belong to other industries.
Let’s say Fashion or Beauty, for instance.
Visit GWB next Friday for a step-by-step guide to organizing a successful media trip.
Source: Wave Rider. Annabella Barber by photographer Simon Lekias for Harper’s Bazaar Australia January 2013.