Is it still worth going the extra mile to put on a press trip28th March, 2017 by Nathan Nye
It may be becoming increasingly challenging to get the new time-pressed breed of journalists, bloggers and influencers to attend press trips, but is there still a place for them in PR today?
In short – yes, and here’s why:
A press trip remains an invaluable environment in which to form lasting relationships with media. It’s human nature that being able to put a face to a name brings all parties closer. Indeed, personal contact will always make the goods, services and people that we are trying to PR seem more real and relatable, while fostering a better understanding of what you and your company or organisation are really all about.
As such, brand owners should always try to meet journalists as often as possible, and press trips remain a great way of doing that as they help facilitate positive relationships, meaning the next time you interact with a journalist there will be a genuine recognition and rapport.
There is also inevitably a high level of exclusivity on press trips that allows journalists the chance to fill their MP4 players with hours of interview material, which can be used in features and articles for years to come, while in the short term offering the chance for one on one contact will give them material that will be unique.
With any press trip, a brand owner or organisation will understandably want to see a good return on their investment – and this is invariably the case. Again, it comes down to human nature. If you’ve got a good story to tell, and the journalist has invested their own time in allowing you to tell that story, then they are inevitably going to be more interested in relaying it to their readers, listeners or viewers.
Journalists are also always looking for interesting press trips that offer new experiences from which they can extract desirable content.
Our recent press trips to Cuba, for Havana Club, and Ireland, for Irish Distillers, have had top tier media attending and then writing bespoke brand stories based on their exciting time abroad, leading to many more column inches and pieces of coverage than a press release alone would muster.
So here are our top tips for a successful press trip:
- When recruiting for a press trip, tailor every pitch to target a specific section/opportunity/column in the magazine or website that the journalist contributes to
- Negotiate the coverage each journalist can reasonably be expected to commit to as part of their attendance on the trip
- Be open to including additional cultural events and local areas of interest in the itinerary to support with the guest’s editorial – give them some colour
- Make sure there’s some down time – press trips are hard work for all parties, so it’s good to factor in some breaks that allow everyone to go back feeling they’ve had a productive trip, but not so exhausted that they need a week off to recover
- Stay in touch – the trip is just the start of the relationship, so make sure that all parties – both you and the journalists – continue to get the maximum return on the investment