As consumers, we all know that our first-hand experiences lead to bigger, better stories in our lives; reading an article, a book or a friend’s Instagram review of a destination, hotel or restaurant will never be the same as seeing, smelling, touching, tasting or hearing it for ourselves. That’s why, in travel public relations, we’re huge advocates for individual media familiarization (FAM) or press trips, which often result in larger – potentially feature – stories in the publications to which they contribute and, ultimately, consumers reading about their experience book the same, or similar, experience for themselves.
That all said, it’s important seamlessly execute a media hosting. Read on to learn how we work with our clients to do just that.
- Set Expectations: Both the journalist and the location at which they’re being hosted – a restaurant, hotel, resort, destination, etc. – should have a clear idea of what the experience will look like. All components of an itinerary or dining experience – including what will or will not be available – should be communicated to avoid any confusion or hiccups along the way (this is especially true with new COVID-19 related protocals). We provide our clients with detailed media briefings that outline the entire reservation or visit, that also include details such as the journalist’s headshot, examples of previous work and social media handles, to sometimes specifics as finite as wine preferences.
- Be Prepared: Ensure the entire team, even those who aren’t expected to directly interact with a journalist, are aware of the hosting and have background details on the reservation or visit. A simple greeting using a journalist’s name or conversation spurred by background information or the upcoming experience can go a long way. Also, ensure there’s at least one person on-property who can act as a resource for questions, insight and more.
- Surprise & Delight: Leaving a simple in-room note to welcome a journalist upon check-in – better yet, a small gift (like the preferred wine our agency denotes on a media briefing) – or bringing out a special welcome cocktail or appetizer during a dining reservation ensures a memorable, positive experience for the journalist. That said, it’s important to remember that journalists often want the “typical” guest experience so their coverage is an accurate representation, so no need to go too overboard.
- Check-in & Follow-up: Check in with journalists at least once during their experience on-property to assure they’re having a positive experience and getting the information they need for the resulting story. Members of our team, who remain available throughout media visits, always follow up for feedback about the experience, as well as to provide any relevant press materials.
Ready to get journalists on-property? We’d be happy to help.