Thursday, March 22, 2018

Satellite Media Tour (SMT)

Lots of people have asked us how it is that we can sometimes line up a dozen or more interviews in one day for a single client. And in our efforts to better educate the public about the work that publicists as a whole do, and that we do specifically, I thought I’d tell readers about The Satellite Media Tour or SMT.

A Satellite Media Tour is a great tool for authors, stars of television shows and anyone else on a launch or needing to reach a number of markets in a short burst of time, particularly where travel is difficult or financially prohibitive. A Satellite Media Tour isn’t cheap; it costs on average in the neighbourhood of $20,000, but it’s cheaper than a full out press tour that may take you to 5 or 10 or more cities, with hotel bills and airfare adding up as you go.

That’s not to say it’s not worth doing a live tour. Sometimes, you get better shows by being in a market in person. But even if you are in a market, there’s nothing to say you won’t get bumped. A huge number of people booked on the Friday that the earthquake and then Tsunami hit Japan found themselves bumped off of shows they’d been booked on for weeks, including some of our clients.

Chances are better, however, that with a Satellite Media Tour, many markets would have assigned a producer at the local station to have conducted the interview, with the anchor dropped in later.

Many of the bigger SMT companies are located in New York but many will work across the country if getting to New York is not an option. You might have to fly the SMT producer out and absorb the costs associated with their travel. And not every market has studios that are adequate for a Satellite Media Tour, meaning that in those markets, you might need to use a sattellite truck. And trucks tend to be more expensive than studios.

How many markets you will reach really depends on the subject matter and what you’re up against news wise. So the same rules about being topical, distinct and newsworthy apply, but a Satellite Media Tour can be an effective and cost efficient way to extend your reach during a national launch, particularly where budget or other constraints limit travel.

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One Response to “Satellite Media Tour (SMT)”
  1. Few of the big satellite media tour companies are located in New York these days. I can’t speak for everyone, but in 20 years no clients have paid to fly any of our producers in for SMT’s originating from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Denver, Phoenix, Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle or anywhere else. A key benefit of a satellite media tour over a “ground tour” is that the client’s spokesperson does not have to travel anywhere to reach TV programs across the country, prebooked back-to-back in top markets, over a few hours. Why would they then pay for us to fly in? We have studios, mobile uplinks (satellite trucks), producers and crews all over the U.S. and Canada. Our fees remain the same whether we have to fly from New York to Los Angeles or drive across town.

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