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The Tripping Point – Creating Perfect Press Familiarisations

The Tripping Point – Creating Perfect Press Familiarisations
17 February 2017 James Brooke

In the Year of the Rooster, one of our proverbs is ‘A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’ and given the lengths we go to to secure bigger and better coverage for our clients, we’ve taken a look at one such journey.

When it comes to our travel portfolio, not only do our clients understand the value of first-person insights over travel-brochure spin, but there is rarely anything more impactful or useful for the media than to experience what’s on offer for themselves.

Last week, we took five national journalists to New York City with WOW air – Iceland’s ultra-low-cost transatlantic airline – to prove that the Big Apple needn’t require big bucks and that with WOW, cutting the cost of your ticket, shouldn’t mean a lesser value experience.

In the last 12 months, we’ve organised more than 114 individual media trips and hosted seven group press trips, travelling to ten different countries across three continents, resulting in more than 300 pieces of coverage.

So given all this experience, we’ve taken a look at what makes a perfect press trip.

Target the right media; if the foundations of the trip are only suited to a particular audience, then there is no use in taking that high-end luxury travel title that you love to read at the weekend, on a hostel-hopping trip. As with any piece of PR, if you don’t know your message and your media, then is isn’t going to work.

Our target audience for the showing the ‘Big Apple on a Bitesized Budget’ was young adults, couples, families and those who travel on a smaller budget, so having Metro,, Daily Star, Daily Mirror and The Sunday People on board was a perfect fit.

Be prepared for “last-minute alterations”; you can be the most organised host in the world and know your destination and attractions like the back of your hand, but factors such as weather (yes it snowed), third-parties and specific group requirements can throw a spanner in the works and alter plans. Keep calm and be adaptable.

Wherever we host media, we build a network of partners and fixers to ensure our trips run smoothly, whatever happens, from airports & airlines to accommodation & attractions. For this trip we worked closely with NYC & company on an itinerary that fitted the trip’s ‘bitesize budget’ theme.

Not only are partners great for learning, networking and insider knowledge, but when you’ve been hosting for over 24 hours, having friendly faces who can answer questions and look after guests, even if just for 10 minutes is a god-send.

Stay positive; there may be elements of the trip that don’t meet everyone’s expectations. Don’t let this distract or disappoint you – you can’t please everyone all the time, so if group morale needs a bit of a boost, throw a little surprise into the mix like buying a round of hot chocolates on a very cold day! The small touches do get noted.

Fortunately for New York, WOW air lived up to its cheeky, challenger reputation from its endearingly named fleet (MOM, DAD, KID, JOY and GAY to name a few) to the striking purple-coloured planes and quirky sick bags, it’s safe to say everyone was enchanted by the airline’s character, making for another successful press trip.

By Katie Raby