September 2, 2013 10.55 am This story is over 99 months old

Media days: Don’t just tell ‘em, show ‘em

Hitting the right note: Don’t just send reporters releases, invite them around at your Media Day. Comms expert Joe Degand explains how.

Sometimes words and photos just aren’t enough – so that’s why throwing a Media Day for your business is one of the most effective ways of breaking through to a blogger or reporter with a “too good to be true” mentality.

A Media Day is a planned event for journalists that gives an inside look at your business by providing a tour, interviews with key staff, photo opportunities and a chance to see all you have to offer, first-hand.

If you have the time, budget and determination to see one through, a Media Day could be the key to gaining significant media exposure in publications that reach your specific audience, so here are a few tips to get you started:

Group or individual tour?

By inviting a group, you can reach a dozen or more engaged journalists in one go, which means everything you’re planning only has to be done once. An individual tour is unique in that it allows one-on-one time with the writer you’ve invited to build a more personal relationship.


There’s no guarantee your Media Day will generate return on investment, and, if it does, it will be hard to measure, so choose a budget you’re comfortable with and don’t spend more than you can afford.

Invite the right people

Make sure you do your research and choose the most relevant and influential bloggers and journalists to invite. Once you’ve finalised your list, select a date far enough in the future that allows you time to plan and for invitees to schedule the visit into their diaries.

Create and send an invitation that stands out, and, if you haven’t heard from them a few days after your RSVP date, be prepared to pick up the phone to follow-up with the people you’ve invited.

Choose your spokesperson wisely

A major part of any media visit is the spokesperson representing the business or organisation on show. A dull and unenthusiastic representative is unlikely to leave a lasting impression, so be sure to choose speakers that are relevant, passionate and well-versed. You only get one first impression!

Try choosing more than one speaker to add variety to the day. This gives multiple individuals the opportunity to speak about what they’re most knowledgeable and passionate about, plus it reduces the amount of pressure on a single spokesperson.

Give something to walk away with

Not only is it a friendly gesture, but giving a branded takeaway for home or the office increases the likelihood of keeping top of mind.

Make your gift relevant to what your business offers. For example, if you’re a business near the seaside, branded beach toys and bags are a great gift. If you’re in the food business, branded cooking utensils are a fun option.

Pull out all the stops

Offer an exclusive experience to those attending by tailoring a unique series of activities throughout the visit. Keep it interactive and interesting, and be sure to go out of your way to accommodate any requests made before or during the event i.e. photo opportunities, interviews and behind-the-scenes tours.

Don’t limit it to media

Depending on your goals, you can showcase your business to other interested parties by planning a Familiarisation (or FAM) Tour or Open House instead of a Media Day. These alternatives are nearly identical to a Media Day; however, instead of focusing on journalists, you target other groups, like prospective buyers, government officials, group tour and travel operators, etc.

Do you have any other tips for businesses interested in planning a Media Day? If so, tweet us @lavacomms.

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Joe Degand is a communications executive at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency in Lincoln. Specialising in copywriting, social media, and event planning, Joe plays an integral role in Lava's public relations team. Originally from the United States, Joe has over 4 years communications experience, working with clients internationally to help them achieve marketing objectives and develop effective communications strategies.