Five Tips to Maximize Satellite Media Tour Success

No amount of advertising can give your product, service or brand the credibility that editorial placements on TV news and lifestyle programs can and that’s why satellite media tours (SMTs) are an effective tool for your public relations campaign.

SMTs may focus on one spokesperson for a new product or significant event, like a new book release or movie premiere.  Although these media tips are important if your promoting a movie or book, they’re essential for any other topic since the results of your media tour depend on getting these five things right.  So, if you’re considering an SMT for current or future public relations efforts, here are five tips that will not only help you maximize your success, but hit the ball out of the park.

Choose a Headline Grabber for an Angle.  Most every P.R. pro knows this, but the slugline is your one shot at grabbing news room decision makers attention so you need to make it a great one.  Think about the emails you actually open. Next to who the email is from, the subject line is what grabs your attention to open it and news producers and assignment desks are no different.  Also, don’t under estimate the power of the negative slug line either as they’ll get your story on the air.   When you choose CMP Media Cafe to produce your SMT, we will work closely with you to craft the most effective angle for your story.  For more tips on sluglines, take a look at the Number One Mistake Pros Make on Press Releases.  Finally, news producers want news-you-can-use with easy-to-understand consumer messages that are relevant to your viewers so make sure your story angle has a broad appeal or way to include a broad audience. 

Your Spokesperson Should Be Relevant to Your Topic or Angle.  In addition to your angle, the spokesperson you choose for your SMT is critical to maximize your results.  Does the spokesperson have some level of media recognition or expert credentials or do they offer a truly unique perspective on the story?  If you want to secure the Top 50 TV Markets, then an A-list celebrity will be your best shot at this but only if it makes sense for your product and product message since the wrong celebrity spokesperson (or C-Lister) will derail your best efforts if they’re not the right fit.  An A-list celeb is not the only answer to a successful SMT, however, since a meaningful consumer angle can be very effective with the appropriate expert (or “celebrity expert” – like a well known doctor, attorney, dietician, author, blogger, etc.) on the topic.  The key is relevancy combined with the angle.

Choose the SMT Airdate with Care.  Timing is everything and you want to choose the best airdate to maximize exposure.  This means that you need to be aware of a possible deluge of competing stories (i.e. election year political results, back-to-school, holidays, etc.) and avoid scheduling your airdate during these times if it’s not critical.  Also, if your catalyst for the story hinges on an “awareness” day or month (i.e. Breast Cancer Awareness, Heart Health, et al), be aware that other companies will be out there with a similar idea so either do everything you can to be the first out there with your story or develop a unique angle to set you apart from the clutter.

Synergize Your SMT with Marketing and Advertising Campaigns.   One of the most effective things you can do is synergize your public relations efforts with the marketing and advertising campaigns of the client you represent.  I’m am constantly amazed at how few companies understand this value and anticipate an SMT to have the same effect as a DRTV spot.  According to marketing research, most people need a minimum of seven exposures to a product before they make a buying a decision.  It’s one thing when they see a product in a commercial, but then when they see that same product featured in an editorial segment of a TV program, their brain connects the dots in a unique way.

To Super Size the synergy of a satellite media tour, you should also choose a date that will coincide with publicity print campaigns as well.  Think about it, you see commercials for the product, it’s popping up in television shows, and you open your newspaper or online magazine and see the same product featured there.  It takes a lot of planning, but you can see the value in this type of syngerstic approach.  Movie and TV Show publicity are a great example of how this is done well. It’s no coincidence that Angelina Jolie is appearing on the Today Show and the Tonight Show while also being on the covers of People Magazine and more while you’re also seeing commercials for her latest movie in heavy rotation during prime time viewing hours.

Start Pitching Stations Six-to-Eight Weeks Before Airdate.  Although CMP Media Cafe’s strong and up-to-date media contacts carry a lot of klout when it comes to booking a satellite media tour, a minimum six-to-eight-week lead time from the time the Media Alert is approved is recommended to maximize success of pitching your SMT to news media.  Due to the current media environment, if less than eight weeks are allotted, there is a greater risk that the programs we’re targeting will already be booked for the timeframe available.   Keep in mind that most programs only have openings for one to two satellite media interviews each day so we want to be first to pitch them your story before their schedules book up.

Use these top five tips to maximize your satellite media tour success.  Also, feel free to contact us for a consultation on your project.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Copyright (c) 2012. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

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