What is a Satellite Media Tour and Should Your Brand Do it?

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A Satellite Media Tour (SMT) is an efficient Public Relation tactic to deliver your story to television, radio or online audiences through live studio or a remote location anywhere in the world. Live Interviews are one of the most direct and cost effective ways of engaging with your core audiences wherever they may be in the world.

This earned-media technique is used by brands, non-profit organizations, institutions and PR agencies to put forward senior executives, brand ambassadors and other talents for one-on-one, back-to-back live or taped interviews with select media.

Secure guaranteed coverage

A Satellite Media Tour is a great vehicle to secure guaranteed coverage and reach several news outlets within a short window of time, making the exercise both resource and cost-efficient. A media tour can be done over the course of a full day, one morning or just a couple of hours. Format and audiences could be TV, radio or online; in studio or remote; live or live to tape.

How to do it?

A successful SMT includes the following elements:

  • Develop compelling story angles. Stay relevant by understanding what makes a good story for the outlets you are pitching to. Understand the decision-making process of the newsrooms. A timely, topical story that fits the news outlet’s agenda will ensure your spokesperson gets relevant airtime and coverage.
  • Identify the most relevant TV, radio or web outlets. Not all news outlets or programs would be relevant for your specific tour. Make sure your pitch is well targeted and you understand the tone, style and direction of each channel/program/anchor
  • Get the right spokesperson. It is important to get the right talent for your particular media tour and optimize their time. Your talent can be a senior executive, an external subject matter expert, a celebrity or brand ambassador. Get media training if necessary. And as importantly, make sure your talent is comfortable with the messaging and is briefed appropriately.
  • Allow as much time as possible. While it is possible to execute a media tour in less time, four to six weeks is ideal to plan a successful tour. For events such as a motor show, you will need to plan 12 to 14 weeks in advance because of tight requirements from Congress and event centers. A site survey is also a good idea if you are doing a remote SMT as opposed to a studio one.
  • Be detailed oriented. Little things can have a big impact on SMTs. A satellite segment not booked properly, wrong coordinates or an overbooked time slot, will soon turn your tour into a nightmare. Ensure you are working with professionals who know what they are doing when it comes to Satellite Media Tours.
  • Provide additional footage. Do not underestimate the importance of b-roll in a media tour. The newsroom will often want to illustrate what is being discussed by your spokesperson. Offering the news outlet footage will ensure your message and brand are correct.
  • Be thoughtful about branding. Too much branding is a turn-off for any news outlets. Your best brand visibility during a media tour is your spokesperson and b-roll provided. Additionally, if you are promoting a specific product (new car launch for example) and this is the topic of the interview, it is fine to have this in shot.

What results can you expect?

A successful SMT is a team effort involving media relations, PR, technical and production teams to work together. If done properly, a Satellite Media Tour will provide your brand or organization with guaranteed coverage on top-tier news outlets anywhere in the world. You could be looking at 4-6 earned back-to-back TV interviews in an hour. If you expand this to a full morning, that is 16-24 interviews in half a day.

For any brands looking at reaching large TV, radio and web audiences, a Satellite Media Tour is a time and cost-effective way to drive results and ensure maximum coverage.


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Author: Delano Pansi

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