Showing Yourself: How Often Press Tours Should Be Conducted

Татьяна Куликова

An important task of the PR department is to increase the audience’s awareness of the company and the product it produces. The modern media market provides many opportunities for this. However, one of the most effective tools remains the press tour. We explain how to properly organize such events and how often they need to be held.

Components of a Press Tour

Journalists love press tours, as they are a more lively format than a conference or briefing, and they also involve “access to the body” of one or more speakers. However, the essence of PR is to be in the public eye, but without oversaturating the information space with yourself.

Three important components distinguish a good press tour:

  • Goals
  • Participants
  • Program

The goal of any PR event is to increase the recognition of the company or product, as well as to some extent manage its reputation. But in order for the target audience coverage to be more relevant, additional goals need to be set: to show a new development, to conduct a tour of an object, and so on. And, of course, one of the goals should always be to form a pool of loyal publications and journalists.

The participants of the press tour play a key role, because for success, it is necessary to make the event as close as possible to their interests, not only professional but also personal. The status of the press tour will be higher if someone from the company’s top management participates – this shows respect for media representatives. In addition, top management has exclusive information that is always of interest to journalists.

The program of the event should be moderately saturated so that journalists get the maximum impressions, but do not get tired. In the case of lengthy press tours, it is also important to allocate time that guests can spend resting or creating urgent materials “on the road.” And, of course, each time you should proceed from the specific pool of media whose employees are planned to be invited. For example, if there will be many film crews in the delegation, locations with the best visibility and interesting angles should be envisioned in advance. If, on the other hand, the writing contingent predominates, then more emphasis should be placed on communication with top management and company employees.

How to Evaluate Effectiveness

Press tours can vary in length and complexity: it’s one thing if you’re demonstrating updated sports facilities within the Garden Ring, and quite another if you’re planning to show the operation of an enterprise somewhere near Norilsk. But in any case, this is a rather labor-intensive event. Therefore, it is important to understand in advance how to calculate the effect and what to expect as a result.

There are two logical and expected outcomes of a press tour: firstly, the publication of articles or reports about the event itself, and secondly, confirmation or even enhancement of the company’s status. Both of these results will be appreciated by potential investors and partners, and therefore all possible efforts should be made.

Spend time working out the concept and engage the editors. Give journalists the opportunity to communicate with the speakers face-to-face, even if briefly, but with each participant. Many journalists go on press tours precisely in order to ask questions of the company’s top person and produce an exclusive story.

If everything is done correctly, you will receive a large number of free publications mentioning the company. And loyal journalists will be more willing to engage in the future. But it is important to understand that a press tour is a kind of gesture of goodwill, and the media is not obligated to release material based on it, although this is implied.

Proper Frequency

Thus, although a press tour is very effective, it is nevertheless just one of the PR tools, and you should not rely too heavily on it. In addition to other things, it is also a rather expensive event. Specific amounts will depend on the scale and duration, but in any case, press tours should be resorted to if your annual PR budget exceeds 10 million rubles.

Of course, in this way, over time, you can transfer cooperation with publications to a non-commercial plane. However, this effect will not be quick. And here we smoothly come to the question: how often should press tours be conducted? The answer will depend on two parameters:

  • Financial capabilities
  • Information potential

Unlike the press conference format, which can be regular, and briefings, which can be held on any occasion, a press tour needs a good reason. At the same time, one well-organized event per year is quite enough. At the same time, a weak program or poor organization will repel journalists.

Hold press tours when you really have something to show. Or focus on exclusive communication between each participant and the company’s top management. And remember that the principle of “less is more” works with events of this kind.

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