Why Your Broadcast PR Stinks 2016: Satellite Media Tour Edition

by Jeremy Juhasz | November 20, 2018

Satellite Media Tour


Some public relations professionals are fans of the Satellite Media Tour. But many, many people are NOT fans of the Satellite Media Tour. The 2016 KEF Media PR Tactic preview is for those in the latter group.

Your Tactic: The Satellite Media Tour (SMT).

Your Audience: Viewers of Local & National News Television, Radio Listeners and Web Consumers.

Broadcasting your message across the country from a single location sounds like a futuristic idea, like time travel or magic. How in the world can someone in the media in San Francisco interview a spokesperson in New York and make it look they’re just down the street or in the next room? Satellite Media Tours (SMTs) are magical this way, feeding local affiliates newsworthy segments for their audiences. All you have to do is plop an enormous satellite truck, run some wires and place talent in front of a camera. OK, there is a little more to it than that, but at the end of the day, stations want a good interview and you want to promote your message to as many markets or to the select markets you desire. Marry those two motives and you can whip up your own magic. Note, though, that one-on-one, back-to-back interviews for hours at a time aren’t exactly fun. In fact, the words for the process are probably monotonous, repetitious and tedious. But, oh, the magical results from the SMT way are proven to generate the best broadcast ROI you can ask for.

Your (Lack of) Creativity: Public relations professionals scoff at the idea of an SMT because of its reputation over the years. It has been linked to a “stogy” and “expensive” tactic. And other industry stereotypes abound. No, all “SMTs” are not “Co-Ops.” You’re unimaginative if this remains your stance. SMTs are customizable and not littered with brand messaging in every other sound bite, if done properly. For instance, consider some paid options to integrate into your tour if you have a spokesperson that doesn’t resonate enough clout with the media. Have a high profile celebrity or athlete? You should consider expanding the scope of an SMT to a Customized Media Day, incorporating an SMT as a small part of the execution. 


What’s New that Stinks: Crummy results after spending a big chunk of budget. Only got 20 interviews in a 5 hour window? Half of the interviews conducted in fringe radio markets? Yuck. The stigma that Satellite Media Tours are too expensive and all Co-Ops are old-fashioned is BS. Sadly, hacky SMT vendors give the customizable PR tactic a skanky name. Don’t accept that all SMTs or SMT vendors are the same. If you do, for shame!

What’s Always Stunk: The technical wherewithal required to pull off a flawless tour requires experts like us to execute it. Taking technical short cuts will get you into trouble, and evolving technology requires a dedicated team to keep up with station formatting of video, audio and satellite requirement details. Also, listening to the same key messages delivered over and over and over (25+ times) in 4 hours stinks. But hey, that’s also why the SMT doesn’t stink…

What Might Not Stink: SMTs produce powerful results that you can repurpose in other ways. The SMT provides an immediate promotional push to television, radio and online outlets, but the content afterward can go on your website, incorporate parts into your social media, as well as other digital marketing properties, maximizing the campaign’s reach. SMTs can become a vital piece of the promotional pie that continues to live well beyond its single-day execution.

What Else Might Not Stink: You can customize your SMT to fit your needs based on the 3T filter. It is not an unforgiving, fixed tactic.

*This is one of several posts inspired by the popular 'Your Team Sucks' series from Drew Magary of Deadspin. See similar: Radio Media Tour Edition 

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