Attracting the media to cover an event your client is hosting or film on location to promote a destination is only half the battle for the serious PR.
It’s equally essential to make sure media are well looked after when they do arrive, not least because it’s far more likely to make them inclined to return.
At DCA Public Relations, media relations is one of our core strengths; it helps that at least half of our 10-strong team are ex-journos who remember well what it was like covering a story – and what reporters really appreciated from PRs on location.
There are a few constants no matter what the occasion: making sure the journalist knows exactly where to go in advance by sending full directions and a map, for example, and ensuring they are met by someone on site as soon as they arrive.
Then there are the little extra touches that make the visit go smoothly.
For the Radio 4 Today team arriving at Plymouth Fisheries at 4am to stage a live broadcast, the priority was naturally coffee – and a steady stream of it – so we found an all-night café and kept supplies well-stocked.
When ITN News arrived for a live outside broadcast during the night of the EU Referendum, the same location also had to look exactly right. As well as offering up lobster pots to become a ‘coffee table’ for live interviews on the quayside, we also organised for some shabbier, less attractive fishing boats to move around the quayside so they’d be out of shot, making room for a more aesthetically pleasing, traditional trawler; TV is all about image, after all.
But fulfilling media requests, no matter how unusual, is all part of the service in ensuring we create and sustain a welcoming and helpful location for media to use – and promote our clients to the widest possible audience.