Yes! Just hearing the word ‘media tour’ makes it sound so difficult and time-consuming. Media tours do need a lot of planning, coordination, and commitment. However, nothing is too much if it is aimed at building a relationship with the media for your business or organization.
With the help of tools like Poblysh.com, you can access any media organ in Cameroon since it is a single place to find and partner with media houses and influencers in Africa for your campaigns.
Media tours are an effective way to disseminate a message to a group of vital reporters and help nurture reporter-executive relationships through face-to-face meetings. Though there are other forms of meeting contacts like through pitching and networking, a well-established media tour is the key to a strong list of contacts you can call in times of need.
When you start thinking of having a media tour, planning should be core. With a terrific plan, the tour itself will not be much of an issue. Here are a couple of points you should consider when planning a media tour.
First, you should have the courage to start this project. This courage comes from the people around you, those who work with you in your organization. If you have the most reliable team for the tour, then, there is no backing out.
Know your audience
Now, you need to determine your ideal audience. To get to this audience, you need to contact the right media outlets. Decide which of them to choose for the task, go ahead and start reaching out to these contacts.
Are you going to choose radio, TV, blogs, or print? In Cameroon, the national station, CRTV has national coverage while smaller media houses like HiTV and Dream FM have smaller coverage. Blogs like Arreyb.com and Mimi Mefo Info publish on politics while Christian blogs like iJesusAfrica and Afro Hustler cover Christian issues and business/entrepreneurship stories respectively. So, what is your choice going to be? Which media organs target your ideal audience?
Plan your media visit
Start organizing how you will visit several news outlets in a short time--say in a day or two. Of course, you don’t have much time. However, depending on how effective your planning is, how reliable your team and the media team is, you can pull this off in a day and produce excellent results.
You don’t want to be running around and making phone calls at the last minute, so you will really want to consider double-checking the locations and allocating enough time to move from one venue to another. Still not clear? Well, what this means is, you don’t want to be caught in traffic when you should be on a ‘date’ with your media friends.
Cities like Douala and Yaoundé do get heavy traffic that might be a hindrance. But talking about small cities like Buea or Limbe, traffic is not really a problem to worry about. So, the bigger the town, the bigger the challenges.
Choose a date wisely
And get this; when choosing a date for the tour, make sure it does not clash with any ‘big days’ or major events. Don’t ask why. You should know by now that media personnel get really busy on these days. As such, you don’t want the reporter to cancel on you. Days like February 11th, May 20th, May 3rd, are a few among other 'big days' in Cameroon when no journalist will even look your direction for a media tour.
Where will you lodge?
Look for a comfortable place to stay. If you’re going to do a media tour in another town, city, or country, then it is better to look for a place to stay around. With this, you can get enough rest and not worry about crossing borders or catching flights on the day of the tour. I don’t think you want to know what could go wrong!
Prepare for disappointment
Know that a reporter can call to cancel. Really? Sure, change of mind. For one reason or the other, one of your contacts may call to say “hey, I’m sorry…” and that is really disappointing, but you’ve got to be ready for that. You should expect disappointments like that and have a plan in place to fix it if or when it happens. Meanwhile, just hope they don't forget to call in time for a readjustment.
Do your homework
Find out as much as you can about the media house; acquaint yourself with their publications and get a good grip on relevant news so that you will be able to have a knowledgeable conversation. Also, find out which reporters you will talk to, their media house, their articles, and even their hobbies. Anything that will help you be familiar with them in advance. A newspaper like The Guardian Post is a daily and covers the national territory but who is its audience? Meanwhile, blogs like Beta Tinz publish news on other social media and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, where lots of millennials hangout.
Ok, you must know that in Cameroon, getting information like that online is frustrating because you will hardly get a thing, if not sketchy information. So, be ready for more personal contact during research. However, you can visit Poblysh to get the contacts of any Cameroonian media houses you are targeting.
Sell your story
Send out a media package that will give reporters adequate information to become interested in your story. Yes, you will be telling them all about your company during the tour, but you have to create engaging story ideas including pictures and videos that will hook them into being a part of the tour. Cameroonians can be adamant. So, you have to put a bit more effort to convince them of the mutual benefits of your tour.
Give yourself time
Two weeks is ideal to pitch for a press tour. Two weeks prior to the tour dates; it shouldn’t be too far or too near. Everyone is pretty busy. So, they need time to process your information and do their homework.
Try phone pitching. It lets you “get real” with the media and state why it would work for them and their audience. Plus, you are more likely to form a connection over the phone, make it easier to reveal your message and learn what will be mutually favourable for both your business/organization and the journalist.
Send emails too
But keep it short and modest. Remember Poblysh.com? On Poblysh, you can easily filter among bloggers, radio stations, TV stations, entertainers, social media influencers, event speakers/organizers, and others; evaluate their audiences and contact the best people who will help you reach your target audience.