So you’re sitting in your team meeting outlining the PR plan of attack for your client, when someone says, “Hey, why don’t we just do a TV satellite media tour?” Suddenly, the room goes silent. The wheels in everyone’s heads start turning. There are blank looks on everyone’s face, except yours because YOU read this blog and know the “Five Things to Consider When Planning a Television Satellite Media Tour.”

Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy of The Kennedy Forum and Dr. David Satcher of the Morehouse School of Medicine

Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy of The Kennedy Forum and Dr. David Satcher of Morehouse School of Medicine

  1. Is your story newsworthy?

In the PR world we tend to think that everything is newsworthy, just because the client or the board says so. Take the blinders off and really think about this one. Will news outlets care? Will the public care? Is it just a commercial? These days, stations are pickier than ever. There has to be some kind of hook. Is there a news hook? Or just fluff?

  1. Is the timing right?

Be aware of major events that you will be competing with for airtime, such as the Super Bowl, political elections, and anniversaries of tragic events. Try to match up your hook with what viewers minds will be open to and thinking about. And whatever you do, don’t do a BBQ grill SMT in February!

  1. Who is the talent?

This is so critical. Oftentimes agencies think their talent is good because he/she went through media training. Stations want names or people with previous experience successfully doing television interviews. Talent is often more bookable than the story itself.

  1. Is it local/regional or is it national?

If your story only applies to cold weather cities, or select cities, do you really want to pitch it nationally? Since SMTs have to cover a great percentage of the country’s geography to make it worth your budget, be sure you have a list with plenty of media markets to cover.

  1. Is it visual?

This is TV after all! Stations want more than just a talking head. Do you have interesting b-roll? Or maybe a product demo on the set with multiple cameras? Or even better, a remote in the field from the action? And please, don’t talk about a hot air balloon contest from a studio. Be at the location. TV is a visual medium, and if the story is not visual, you should think about a radio media tour : )

Stay tuned…