Media tours can take many different forms: satellite, radio, Internet, or in-market tours, for example. Over many years of doing them, KEF Media has identified some mistakes to avoid. It’s a scary media landscape, especially when you’re in the dark. So in honor of Halloween, we give you the following sinful blunders PR pros make when coordinating a media tour. First things first, don’t be scared.
1. Not Thinking Like a Producer
No matter the media platform, producers assemble content, whether it’s news, talk, entertainment, sports or other television, radio or digital programing. Producers decide what goes in and what stays out. They have one basic job: attract and maintain the audience’s attention. They appreciate PR pros who understand that and ignore those who don’t. Your first question, then, is how can I help that Producer do his or her job?
2. Weak Spokesperson, Weak Topic
Tours feature at least one spokesperson, sometimes two, on very rare occasions three or more. What is the spokesperson(s) relevance to where your client’s messaging is concerned? Is the spokesperson uniquely qualified to address the messaging? Why? Will the average person in the audience care about the topic? If you can’t answer these questions in the affirmative, the spokesperson is probably not the right one. Even if your tour can’t include a celebrity talent, expert or author, your spokesperson’s tie into your message needs to be clear and unambiguous.
3. Lackluster Staging
With the exception of radio, most all media platforms are visual. Thus, your staging and backdrops need to help convey your messaging. Conversely, drab and unimaginative staging is a big turn-off for producers.
4. Lack of Visuals
Remember “show and tell” in kindergarten? Producers love it. On the other hand, a talking head is boring. Supplement your staging with props that help support the spokesperson’s presentation.
5. Brand Messaging Overload
The purpose of a media tour is to raise awareness of your client’s messaging, not sell anything. Ads are for selling. Successful tours offer the audience information delivered by a credible spokesperson that they might find useful or entertaining. Messaging fits into the context of the topic the spokesperson is addressing. Too many product or brand mentions, logos, and other blatant commerciality virtually assure your tour will fail.
6. Set Unrealistic Expectations
Producers at major media outlets have the luxury of picking and choosing what they will present, so,expecting network affiliate newscast coverage in New York, for example, is not realistic unless there is a strong spokesperson, topic and local angle. Thus, client expectations should always be tempered from the beginning of any tour. Managing expectations remains one of the biggest factors in defining success.
7. Poor Timing
Sit in a TV or radio newsroom, and you will see how important time is to producers. Whether it’s the length of a story or the time left until the next commercial break, producers always watch the clock. You should, too. First, don’t waste a producer’s time. Second, know what time to pitch a story. Third, know when media are in their “sweeps” months, when airtime is at a premium.
Without a doubt, the deadliest sin of all is not contacting KEF.
KEF will prepare a customized media tour solution. From the complex to the straight-forward satellite tour, muster up the courage and speak with us.