Risks and Opportunities of Media Trips

Many PR gals -specially those in the Travel industry- deal with media trips on a daily basis. After organizing nearly 300 media trips in my life I would really like to share what I have learnt with you in Banjo PR. I will try to show you how to organize a successful media trip and get the best out of it. Are you ready?

Note: To keep these posts simple and make as many examples as possible we are going to have a fictitious member of a non-existing media outlet with us. Let’s welcome Ms. Allison Smith from The Flamingo Times!

What is a media trip?

A media trip is a PR activity organized by a brand (or by its PR Agency) to publicize its products by inviting a certain media outlet to get familiarized with them on-site. Journalists, editors, bloggers or other media reps get formally invited to a trip that is sponsored by a company that wants its services, its team or its philosophy to get promoted across the media.
This basically -but not literally- means that a complete stranger (yes, the above Allison Smith) will come to your house, stay with you for some days, eat your food and play with your dog in the garden while you try to make her believe that your handmade lemonade is the best in town. You will then expect her to tell all of her friends about you when she gets home and, of course, write a 6-page article in the Flamingo Times!

Opportunities of Media Trips

  • The output of a media trip can be spectacular since it is supposed to bring you great publicity! Your company or client can get extraordinary media coverage from it.
  • Organizing a media trip is relatively cheaper and the ROI is way higher than buying an ad page in a glossy magazine.
  • You will strengthen both business and personal links with the participants and get really close to them. Sharing this trip experience with Ms. Allison Smith and being the perfect host are the keys to long term relationships with The Flamingo Times.
  • Do it well and you will get the participants to talk about you the whole time with their colleagues, friends and relatives. Unconsciously Allison will become a brand ambassador of your company or client and will spread the virus!

Risks of Media Trips

  • Organize it the right way and you will succeed. Organize it the wrong way and better get ready for the apocalypse. The good and the bad of a media trip is that you are giving free onsite -and almost virginal- information to somebody who has got power in his/her fingers. So if anything goes wrong or she sees something she shouldn’t have seen, it can cause the opposite result. It can turn Ms. Allison Smith’s dream experience into a nightmare and have horrible consequences in her final publication about you.
  • The cost will certainly depend on how good your partnership relationships with your providers are and the amount of free stuff or discounts you can take from them. Get Allison to talk about how good the lobster was in the Fishy-Mishy Bar you took her to during her media trip and, voilà, get that dinner for free!
  • You should trust 100% the journalist and the media outlet you are inviting before spending a single coin on the media trip. Get feedback from your PR Agency and try the media outlet to sign -or at least to confirm- an agreement. Otherwise you can find yourself in the horrible situation of hosting somebody who is not intending to publish anything at all.

Media Trips have traditionally been used in the tourism and travel industry as a way to promote destinations, hotels, restaurants, cruises, golf courses, etc. However, the possibilities of a media trip are endless and its purposes are infinite. With the right focus and a lot of creativity they can also be used by companies working in other industries. Let’s say Fashion or Beauty, for instance.
Now that we’ve learnt it all about risks and opportunities, let’s see how a successful media trip is organized.

Picture Credit: Wave Rider. Annabella Barber by photographer Simon Lekias for Harper’s Bazaar Australia January 2013.