Executing a media tour in normal circumstances isn’t easy. But what about a virtual media tour in the middle of a public health crisis?
Although journalists are focused on covering the pandemic, there are some who will still be receptive to your pitch.
Here’s how you can execute an effective virtual media tour for your next campaign.
Have a clear and concise pitch. It seems obvious, but how your pitch is crafted is critical. A well-written pitch should explain how the story will help address the challenges of viewers, listeners and readers in this landscape.
In this environment, be sure to mention the type of virtual interview your spokesperson is available to do: Skype, Zoom or a phone interview, for example.
Have a strong media list for your virtual media tour. The great thing about doing a virtual interview is that geography is not relevant. Be sure to expand your list and pitch nationally, if it makes sense to do so.
Reach out to media you have worked with before. Producers and editors remember people with whom they have had good experiences. If you’ve worked with a producer or editor, don’t be afraid to call or email them again. They are more likely to be receptive to your pitch.
Test your camera in your Skype or Zoom once the interview is confirmed. Once you have successfully booked your interviews for a virtual media tour, test your computer’s camera and sound quality. Make sure the camera quality is high-resolution and you’re able to record the interview so you can send unedited b-roll to the producer should they require it.
If your spokesperson is doing a Skype interview on his phone, make sure to have him practice in advance. Also ensure you go through appropriate—and inappropriate—devices for conducting Skype interviews. Devices that are appropriate for doing Skype interviews are laptops and tablets; devices that should be avoided are phones, smart watches and desktop computers without a camera and a microphone.
If a virtual interview is cancelled, remain calm. If your interview is cancelled, don’t be discouraged. Focus on smaller markets for TV, radio and print/web interviews. You might be surprised at the number of producers and editors who will be receptive.
It’s a challenging environment, but knowing how to be creative with media relations will help you garner coverage.
Samiha Fariha is an account executive at Torchia Communications.