Tips on running a media familiarisation tour from our successful PR expert

Tilma Group’s PR specialist, Anna Hayward, recently developed and managed two very successful media familiarisation trips (famils) to the rural South Burnett region inland from QLD’s Sunshine Coast, and rural town Deniliquin near the NSW/VIC border a few hours north of Melbourne.

We interviewed Anna:

Why were the famils to the South Burnett and Deniliquin so successful?

Careful selection of media invited to attend focused on the target markets and geographic areas the regions were trying to reach/attract.

Tailoring the famil to the media and making the inclusions enticing for them and their audiences.

Tell us about the highlight results from each famil

For the South Burnett, having a six-page spread in RM Williams’ Outback Magazine was our big success.

For Deniliquin it was having NewsCorp coverage in major papers in VIC, NSW, NT and QLD. One full-page story was published in the Escape section of Sunday’s Herald Sun (Melbourne), the Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) and the Sunday Mail (Brisbane) giving Deni a reach of over 1 million readers!

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Does the group famil format work better than individual famils?

Its more cost- and time-effective for the client, plus it gives journalists a chance to connect and network; they are not travelling on their own in a new environment, which is especially important when a lot of outdoor/nature-based activities are scheduled (e.g. for safety).

If there was anything you would do differently next time, what would it be?

Nothing really! We have a good 'tried and tested' system due to the number of famils we have organised.

Things never run perfectly to schedule so allow plenty of time between activities, and enough free time for media to explore things not on the itinerary, such as towns.

Don’t fill the famil with so much that it’s too busy or too tiring for the journalists. Give them time to soak it all in.

Always ask visiting media for feedback to help improve future famils.

What would you suggest to other regional destinations that are considering a media famil as part of their marketing strategy?

Consider your target markets and make sure invited media are going to reach out to and resonate with those markets.

Have good calls to action to capitalise off the exposure and website visits while media stories are being rolled out.

Consider multiple channels - print, online, TV, etc and publication dates to get the most longevity from the famil.

The client Deniliquin has found that unpaid partnerships with influencers with fewer followers have been better value than paid influencers with many followers.

Linda TillmanComment