The media tour is a vital tool in the arsenal of any PR practitioner; helping to develop relationships with journalists and putting a face to the email signature. Whilst a good media tour can secure coverage a bad one can be professionally fatal for you and your client.
With this in mind HROC PR has come up with a list of 5 Golden Rules for surviving a media tour unscathed:
1. Don’t pre-book appointments longer than a week in advance. It’s difficult tying an editor down and booking a meeting more than a week in advance leaves you open to schedule changes and cancellations. By booking it within a week the editors schedule is more defined and it also keeps it fresh in an editor’s mind.
2. Always check when an editor is on deadline and never try to book a meeting around this. If they get the slightest hint that the magazine may be delayed hitting the press, then your meeting will be the first thing to go out the window. By checking little details like this you’re showing an appreciation for their timetable, which will curry favour with the editor.
3. Ensure you take a note pad and pen. It sounds simple but often the little details are overlooked. Failure to have such basic tools will reflect badly on you and your abilities.
4. Put all relevant material on a USB stick for the editor. The average editor’s desk is often awash with pieces of paper and by taking printed releases you will only add to the pile. Not only can you include all press releases but you can also add all relevant high res images, which can often be crucial to the success of a release. Make sure you use a client or own company branded stick, as each time they use it they will think of you.
5. Bribe editors with coffee and/or pastries. Shameless as it may seem this is possibly the most important rule of media tour club and will immediately soften an editor to your cause. Make sure you find out what they like in advance though – give a latte to a cappuccino drinker and you’re on the back foot from the off.
Ultimately, the media tour is a great way to meet an editor face to face and let them get to know you and, more importantly, know your client. Good relationships built on the back of these meetings could mean it’s plain sailing for the coming year but bad ones could leave you up a certain PR creek without a paddle.