5 Tips for Hosting an Unforgettable Media FAM Tour

February 18, 2022 Crowe PR

Author: Chelsea Curran

In the world of hospitality public relations and marketing, PR pros have various tactics in their arsenal to help secure positive media coverage for destination and hotel properties. One of the best ways to help shape the stories that media outlets write about your property or destination is through a familiarization tour, otherwise known as a FAM tour. A FAM tour provides reporters with a truly authentic experience that can help drive quality editorial coverage and brand awareness for your client. But how do you ensure the FAM tour is a success? Read below for some tips on how to plan an unforgettable FAM trip and ensure that your client is remembered for years to come.  

#1: Research, Research, Research 

When planning a FAM tour, research is key. This includes deciding which media to invite, as well as determining if their outlet is a good fit for your client and their strategic business goals. For example, does your client care most about the drive market? If that is the case, a writer from a regional glossy publication may be a better fit for them than a writer from The New York Times. Additionally, make sure you research the correct partners for every aspect of the FAM trip – lean on the local tourism authorities and conduct thorough research on each restaurant, excursion or other potential partners to ensure they will reflect well on your client and enhance the overall experience for the attendees. 

#2: Plan Like a Camp Counselor 

If you are hosting a FAM tour, embrace your new role as “camp counselor.” It is your job to drive all activities leading up to, during and immediately after the FAM tour and to be as prepared as possible for any hiccups. From knowing all the attendees’ food allergies and preferences to packing an extra tube of sunscreen if heading to a sunny destination to ensuring all flights and transportation pickups are running on schedule, you must stay on top of the details and anticipate the needs of both the client and journalists.  

#3: Think About the Entire Experience 

When planning the itinerary, be sure to build in activities that get the group off property. It is rare any traveler stays at one single place during an entire trip, so don’t expect your media attendees to do the same. Remember tip #1 and do your research to find the must-visit spots around your destination, make sure they feel like a fit with your client’s overall vibe and aesthetic and then incorporate them into your itinerary. Also, don’t forget to communicate with your media guests in advance to assess any specific activities or areas they may be interested in visiting and work to include them into the itinerary.  

#4: Be Flexible  

Keep in mind that the journalists and your client will likely still be working during a FAM trip, and you probably are as well. Be sure to incorporate breaks into your itinerary to allow everyone time to check emails, take calls or get other work done. Additionally, consider providing attendees with options so that they may choose certain activities over others, allowing them space for downtime. For example, during a press trip to Denver for Crowe client The Curtis, we allowed media the choice to attend an afternoon of exploring the nearby Denver Art Museum or the option to stay back at the hotel to relax and get work done and explore at their leisure. Finally, be flexible if media attendees need to arrive late or depart early from a FAM tour. While the goal is always to have them attend the entire trip, being flexible can still generate amazing coverage and allow reporters the chance to experience a property even if their schedule is tighter. 

#5: Don’t Forget the Follow-Up  

Once the FAM tour is over and bags are unpacked, the PR pro’s job is far from done! First, send a thank you and follow up note to all media attendees. Follow up notes are an opportunity to capture worthwhile feedback that can not only shape the direction of future FAM tours, but they can also help your client improve their overall guest experience and spark ideas for new programming or packages. Once you provide your client with a trip recap, keep a consistent line of communication open with your media attendees. Keeping them updated on news from your client on a regular basis can be the final catalyst that leads to a story. And of course, keep your hospitality client updated on pending coverage as well. FAM tours are a big investment, and it is the PR pro’s job to ensure they get that ROI.  

Want to know more about FAM tours? Reach out to us at info@crowepr.com.  

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