To maximize the effect of the media representatives’ visits to the region, we make sure that their itineraries consist of relevant experiences and that they bring only positive memories about Tampere to their home countries. Our highest reward as of a media trip organizer is a “wow” feedback we get, with an intonation revealing the guests didn’t expect the area to be so interesting, diverse and beautiful. To a large extent, this feeling depends on how great their experience has been at the places they visited.
Here is some advice grounded in our previous experience on how to ensure that your company does its best in receiving media and takes the most from each journalist or influencer visit.
Before the visit
Get to know your guests and their channels in advance. Social media influencers and traditional media representatives usually look for different things. For example, the visual aspect of experiences are not of the first importance for radio journalists, but for social media influencers, pictures can be the only output of the visit. It is also a good idea to go through the whole program of their visit in order to know what your guests have been up to before visiting you, and what they are going to experience after you.
Think of a unique experience for them
Unlike tour operators, media guests seek to be introduced to some exclusive experiences or services that are not available for ordinary visitors. It can be a tailored master class, a tasting that is not in the menu or an exclusive tour that would give a “behind the scenes” perspective on your business.
Let your employees know about the media visit
It can be frustrating when, on the day of the press tour, the employees of a visited company are not aware of the purpose of their guests’ visit. There is nothing wrong in the basic service, but your media guests will feel special if your employees know who the guests are, are eager and prepared to show them around and tell them the story of your business. Good command of English is always a plus in this situation.
Watch this video prepared by Visit Finland for companies about how to get ready for a media visit
During the visit
Find a host
Most often, a Visit Tampere’s representative accompanies media guests, especially when it is a group of journalists. However, influencers and solo traveling journalists may prefer to explore the destination independently or to meet as many different locals as possible. Be ready to spend some time with them during their visit to your company. Secure that the person who meets the guests can communicate everything about the company that might be of interest to them.
Share your social media handles
Communicate your company’s hashtags and social media handles to your guests. Though the main story can follow in months after a visit, social updates are normally a real-time thing. Instagram stories are especially the type of content that is shared instantly or shortly after the visit. Make sure you get tagged in the story and share it to your business’s profile.
Stories live much longer than basic information about your company. Storytelling is the way to stay distinct. A good or funny story usually gets into journalists’ mind, increasing the chance for your company to be reviewed.
A restaurant where serving each dish is followed by a story behind the dish makes the whole dining experience memorable for your guests. Tell them how this menu was developed in your kitchen. What are the raw ingredients? Are some of them locally sourced? Take benefit of the situation and share your knowledge and expertise.
Unlike for tourism professionals who require more precise information on the facilities, media chases stories and experiences. A feeling of the place is more precious for them than a bunch of facts. The media market is extremely competitive, and journalists look for unique perspectives and fresh points of views. They often look for interesting personalities behind their experiences, local people to interview or simply to hang out with. This is where you or your employee can become one of them.
Provide a positive interaction experience
Keep in mind that even if the journalists are here on business, a visit to the destination is always also their personal travel experience. For quite many of them, this is the first visit to Finland. Treat them as your guests and provide a good socializing experience. When the invited media representatives have a good time in Tampere, you can often feel it in the story they produce.
Sometimes we earn mentions in their new publications, long after the story about Tampere was published. Another possible outcome of the positive interaction experience is that the journalists/influencers may want to collaborate with us again and may spread the word about us within their own network. We sometimes get contacted by authors who got inspired by our previous guests.
Connect and follow
Exchange business cards with your media guests, and in case of influencer visits, engage with their social media channels while they are here. Follow them, like and share their content about your company, tell your followers about your visitors and tag the guests in your posts or stories.
After the visit
The benefit of each media collaboration can be multiplied if the companies involved in the campaigns engage with the influencers and their follower base by sending a complimentary comment like “Thanks for experiencing our canoe tour, it was fun!” or “Thanks for staying at our hotel, we’ll be glad to see you again”, and answering the followers’ questions. Share the content that follows in the result of the media visit – on your social media channels or website. Stay connected with them – and who knows, maybe it will bring you to another interesting collaboration opportunity in the future.
Last but not least, listen – to the personal feedback of your guests and the buzz you produce in the result of their visit.
(Good) visibility doesn’t follow automatically, but we have to earn it
Though we offer the media an itinerary that is tailored to both parts’ objectives, it is important to remember that we cannot influence the choice of places they decide to review. The best we can do is to provide a relevant and unique experience that is worth reviewing.
It is also essential to remember to give “artistic freedom” to your media guests – not all the visits follow the official schedule, especially when it is an individual visit. They can ask you to take them to see this specific building you have just mentioned, and this will undermine the schedule of the whole experience you planned. This is not something to panic about. The journalists and influencers know their audiences better, and though we may think our plan is perfect, they may find some of its aspects to be more exciting than others.
In the case of influencers, it is important to trust that they bring the desired perspectives in the most suitable way for both parties. We discuss with them our expectations beforehand, and when they are here, we simply let them do the rest. You can be surprised by their fresh insights. Sometimes they may even broaden your view on your own business and – who knows – define new selling points of your business for the market they represent.
For more guidance and market-specific notes consult Visit Finland’s «International media trips ABC»