A successful familiarisation trip – or fam trip - will result to great editorial coverage both in quality and quantity. Over the last four years, THE AMIRIS has been organising at least two fam trips per year for international journalists and bloggers – each resulting to great number of coverage.
So let me share with you the 10-step to organising a successful familiarisation trip.
1. Identifying story ideas
Prepare story ideas that would attract the target media or blogger. What are news or feature elements of this fam trip and why you think they will incite media’s interest and generate coverage.
2. Listing target media
Present a list of target media to client for their selection and comment. Your story ideas may be excellent, but your target media may not be available during the dates. Be flexible with your media list.
3. Preparing invitation
A formal invitation that covers basic details of the trip: purposes, dates, destinations, activities, itinerary and travel arrangements - is it fully sponsored and by whom? Also prepare a confirmation form that requests basic info of the confirming media such as circulation or reach, readership profile, and personal details including food preference, allergy, etc.
3. Sending out invitation
To secure participation of 30 journalists, I would have to send out invitation to a greater number than that. The email invitation should be tailored to each media, and must be followed up by phone call. Be thankful to any reply to maintain good relationship.
4. Conducting a survey trip
Most media fam trips are time-constraint and jam-packed with activities. A survey trip is essential for the selection of flights, hotels, transfers, food, dining venues and recreational activities. It will help ensure that the actual trip will go without a hitch.
5. Preparing a press kit
This should contain a main press release, relevant fact sheets and destination information, and a photo gallery – all centred on the fam trip’s purposes. They may be several rounds of back and forth changes from client. Be flexible or be firm, focusing on the expected results. Present the kit in a custom USB flash drive, but also have a printed copy available at all times.
6. Organising the trip
Making arrangements for flights, accommodation, transfers, food, dining venues and recreational activities! For international media fam trip, the challenge is to try to get everyone to arrive and depart on the same day for easy arrangement of transfers and accommodation. Inform clients, partners and suppliers of any preferences on food and dietary or allergies. You would not want to serve meat to a vegetarian or shrimp to those who’re allergic to it, would you? Also you need to provide contact detail of a key person for quick decision should an emergency arises.
7. Putting on a good show
This should be like a walk in the park if you would know everything be heart. Do remember the journalists by name and the media they represent, their personal preferences and dietary requirements, their travel details, and their likes and dislikes. At the same time, make sure that every single detail is carried out as planned. When faced with a challenge, address it calmly and professionally. Always be available to offer services, answer questions, mediate interviews, and solve issues.
8. Thank you and feedback
Once the trip ends, call or send a thank you note and ask for feedback. Ask if they would need any further information or assistance with their stories. Share the feedback and suggestions with team and clients.
9. Following up
You should already know from the confirmation form when you can expect coverage from which media. If the expected date has passed and you have not seen the coverage, just follow-up politely and ask again whether they would need any further information or assistance with their stories.
If you need more detail or assistance on organising a successful media trip, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org