Visitor Attraction Marketing – Press Visits
First off, what do you want to achieve from a familiarisation visit to your visitor attraction? We find unless you have a brand new attraction / exhibition – which has to have a massive ‘must go’ reason for a national media audience it is increasingly difficult to lure people on a press trip. A royal or a fairly key celebrity endorsing a launch may entice national media photographers but that’s not a viable option for most of us.
Can you achieve the coverage you are looking for by not being dependent on a visit? Good journalists like all of us are stretched for time. If you have great photography and a series of PR stories lined up – you may find your time and resources are best spent delivering that key content to the right audience – who then, if they find this sufficiently interesting, may wish to visit.
We prefer to pick key people that we want to work with on a one to one basis, build a direct relationship and then invite them for a visit. Generally, there is always a very strong reason – if we know that they are doing a series of features for a specific magazine or its linked to something that is on trend (this year ‘Capability’ Brown) and that there is a demand for editorial.
‘Group’ press trips are best approached by working with your Regional/Local Tourism Agency / BID or Area Marketing teams. The starting point is to ensure that you are on the ‘list of places’ that your local tourism agencies will use for ‘fam trips’. Be sure to keep the PR team up to date with your releases, information and good visuals – so that there is a compelling reason to include your visitor attraction. Ensure that the PR team has also visited recently so that they know they can trust you to deliver a warm welcome and a good experience for their guests.
Keep Visit England & Visit Britain up to date with your media information – although they will probably liaise with your local tourism agency if they are coming to area – but if you are high profile with both you will have a better chance of being included.
Think laterally – is there someone in your catchment who is hitting headlines – hotel /restaurant /transport provider – they may be already be attracting national journalists and you can piggy back on to their programme. See if you can work together to build itineraries that are really marketable – both direct to key journalists and through tourism agencies. If something relevant suddenly hits the headlines, can you create a quick turnaround familiarisation package that will be a winner – for example the storms in Cornwall – is a key opportunity for storm watching weekend ‘fam trips’.
Please follow us on twitter @flamingomkt for news of our next Visitor Attraction Marketing Tips blog. Blogs in the future will cover – delivering a successful familiarisation trip and following up a journalist/blogger visit.