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Ten Top Tips for Successful Satellite Media Tours

It’s a big investment for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to conduct a broadcast satellite media tour in terms of time and money and sometimes, even your sanity! But once you’ve decided to commit, it’s important to leverage the opportunity to maximize coverage and deliver the strongest return on your investment. Here are ten tips that will ensure that your SMT receives maximum exposure and delivers maximum impact before, during and after production:

    1. Do your homework on providers before signing a contract with your top choice. We recommend A-1 Broadcast, Answers Media and D S Simon Productions. Your PR colleagues located in destinations close to you may be able to recommend a local partner. When seeking providers, look for those with in-house media teams and their own studios. This will offer you added flexibility and help to keep costs down.
    2. Secure quotes from at least two SMT providers before making a final decision. In order for these quotes to be accurate, you’ll need to be honest with the SMT provider about your objectives, the consumer markets you are trying to reach and what spokesperson you have at your disposal. This will allow the SMT provider to forecast what results they expect to deliver – it may be a smaller number of media placements in large DMAs or a large number of placements in many smaller DMAs.
    3. Strong talent is everything. Tap a colorful local personality or celebrity as your talent, rather than a CVB or DMO representative. This will help your audience engage with your messaging in a more inspiring, meaningful and believable way. If you need help securing celebrity talent, ask your SMT provider what it will cost for them to assist in securing a spokesperson, utilizing their industry relationships.
    4. If budget allows, host the SMT on-location in your destination to provide visuals that reinforce your messaging. In our experience, this will also increase the likelihood of securing interviews with top TV stations.
    5. When negotiating, request to shoot additional video pieces that can be used for social and promotional purposes beyond the SMT. This is a great way to leverage your time with the production crew and talent you’ll already have on-hand without incurring additional cost.
    6. Nail down your messaging, focusing on the two or three key phrases you want your audience to remember and act upon. Trying to offer everything that makes your destination unique in a two-three minute segment will bog down your message and leave the viewer confused. Then make sure your spokesperson is media-trained and prepared to relay these key messages.
    7. Regardless of whether you are in-studio or on-location, have b-roll on hand to provide visual support to your messaging. B-roll should be no more than 10 seconds per messaging point.
    8. Interact on social media. Research in advance the Twitter handle of each TV station which is booked so that you can interact on social media with the station before and during your segment. This puts your content in front of their followers and allows you to reach an even broader audience online.
    9. Run a sweepstakes. Offer viewers a chance to win a trip to your destination and drive them to your social channels to enter. This will enhance viewer engagement, allow the initiative to live on beyond SMT and give you a chance to build direct relationships with new followers.
    10. Negotiate to include airchecks – permanent links to your segments – from your SMT provider so that you can use the interviews in play-back to stakeholders and on social media to further extend the reach of your SMT messaging. Many providers will allot one to five airchecks within your contract so you can choose the best placements, or simply contract to receive airchecks on all segments conducted during the tour.

While every DMO’s needs are unique and every SMT provider conducts tours slightly differently, these tips will provide you with the foundation upon which you can create the perfect SMT to fit your needs, meet your goals and drive increased visitor awareness and arrivals.

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