What are your HONEST thoughts about satellite media tours? “Old school? Down and dirty? Cookie-cutter?”
Those are some of the answers I’ve gotten from VPs and Account Supervisors when I ask that question during agency meetings.
Let's be clear: SMTs continue to be an effective public relations tactic for quality broadcast and digital publicity. In truth, we also know they aren’t always the sexiest aspect of your PR program.
With the expansion of digital, agencies go well beyond traditional publicity by engaging influencers with creative viral content and unforgettable experiential activations.
Recently, I was in the office of a global PR agency talking to an EVP, who was brutally honest with me. "Alex, our clients don’t come to us for SMTs. They need us for big and different ideas and executions. Can you help us with that?”
“Yes… Yes we can…” was my brutally honest answer. In fact, we’re already doing it for many other agencies. This EVP just didn’t know what we are doing until we sat down to brainstorm the possibilities after reviewing some success stories I showed him.
*What might seem as shameless self-promotion here is actually a fact you need to know for context about the rest of this blog*
At KEF Media we consider ourselves an “agency’s agency.” We’re a team of former broadcasters, producers, news magazine journalists, PR account executives and communications directors who specialize in the customizing broadcast and digital publicity tactics, looking for new and exciting ways to turbocharge our services to optimize results across a wide range of broadcast and digital platforms.
With all of that being said, media tours are still viable, if not an especially popular means to secure media coverage for your client. It is imperative to see why media tours are effective so that you can take advantage of future promotional opportunities with your client.
Begin with a Bang
Earlier this year, one of our agency client’s New York office won a new account with an impressive RFP response featuring robust tactics for a strategic execution. Among the agency’s recommended commissioned studies, influencer outreach and awards programs was a satellite media tour.
Our client asked us to secure A-list talent for the tour, which we frequently do for agencies. We asked our client to think outside the box; in addition to top market television and radio, we asked if we could also offer the content to appropriate top-tier online outlets. They told our media team to go for it.
Yes, we booked broadcast media in the top 10 DMAs but also major online outlets including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg & iHeartMedia resulting in 27 interviews that virally generated more than 300 individual placements and 18 million verifiable impressions. (If the impression number seems low, please read the blog, “Time to Call Bullfeathers on Phony Satellite Media Tour Reports”.)
The results thrilled our agency partner and their client. Beginning with a bang extended the agency/client “honeymoon period”. Now a foundation of client confidence is in place for the agency’s 2017 PR recommendations.
Make the Most of Every Available Hour
Media comes in many formats and is accessible from almost anywhere any time. Opportunities are abundant if media tour days are properly planned.
Last year, an agency came to us with a large scope cause-marketing project. Instead of one talent, there were four (two were well-known and two represented the cause). The challenge was to deliver as much media “tonnage” as possible in 36 hours we had available across as many platforms as possible. A typical standalone SMT would not do that.
Our agency partner trusted us to use every possible media within that window so our schedule looked like this:
- In-studio national television talk shows for the two famous talents
- Simultaneously, the other two talents associated with the cause conducted a radio media tour with 13 interviews including national programs and local stations in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
- An in-studio national network radio interview for three talents
- Influencer and targeted media invited to an exclusive special event, during which we shot b-roll and sound bites that we distributed to broadcast and digital media.
- In-studio national online interview for two talents.
- Satellite Media Tour (3 hours) with all four talents resulting in 20 interviews
- Internet Media Tour (2 hours) with all four talents resulting in 14 interviews
So, over the course of 36 hours we delivered customized media days resulting in 50 interviews, 71 media placements, and a broadcast audience of 15 million as well as 60 million unique digital visitors.
More importantly, these solutions helped the agency win more business from iconic brands.
So you might be wondering, what are MY honest thoughts about satellite media tours?
They get the job done but, we all know at the end of a year when an account is up for renewal, the SMT execution isn’t the first thing highlighted. And if it is, then the agency should have done more for their client.
If you customize your satellite media tour and maximize every hour, we know the results will be dynamic. And we’re not just talking number of interviews or gross impressions. We’re talking about success that helps your agency generate more business and bigger billings.
We know this because our agency partners keep coming back.
What are your honest thoughts about that?