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4 Ideas for Innovative Media Relationship Building

Angela Cavis

When I’m asked what the most important aspect of public relations is, the answer is easy – media relationships. MMGY Global’s media approach is rooted in relationships, establishing deep media contacts that will garner coverage for our clients. The media landscape is in a constant state of evolution and reinvention, and MMGY has the ability to tell our clients’ stories in new and interesting ways and to uncover new and emerging editorial opportunities.

Collectively, MMGY’s PR team speaks to hundreds of media and influencers over the course of a week and the New York office capitalizes on its location on a regular basis to meet with key national media. But when meeting with national media, it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. Why should the media pick up your story when they’ve heard the same one only hours earlier?

One of MMGY’s strong suits is keeping things innovative. Below are a few recent ideas and examples of how to keep clients in the spotlight beyond the standard press release, media tour and press trip: 

1.  Swap your standard culinary press release with an interactive chef demonstration 

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Publishing houses such as Conde Nast, Hearst and Time Inc. offer a Guest Chef promotional series in their employee cafeterias, which showcases chefs from around the world and their signature recipes to an elite audience of media and influencers. MMGY recently brought a taste of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel to Hearst and Time Inc. with Chef Nic Hartzer serving up the destination’s famous seafood. We also coordinated an appearance for Terranea Resort’s Chef Bernard Ibarra at Hearst. Through these events, MMGY was able to introduce chefs and client representatives to editors at magazines such as Food & Wine, In Style, Essence, Travel + Leisure, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, The Oprah Magazine and more, developing relationships that will keep both clients top of mind for future editorial coverage.

2.  Trade in the same ol’ media tour for an immersion experience with local influencers

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MMGY recently put a spin on the traditional media tour by bringing a local immersion experience from The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel directly to media offices. We invited editors at Travel + Leisure, Family Circle and Good Housekeeping to take a few minutes out of their day to be transported to the destination in their own conference room, where the team had manicurists, cocktails and other local treats waiting for them. Client representatives and a local shelling influencer provided an overview of the spectacular beaches and variety of shells visitors can uncover. As a result of these unique meetings, all three magazines have future stories planned.

3.  Replace a traditional media event with a globally recognized networking meet-up

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To raise destination awareness and shine a spotlight on The Great 8 campaign, MMGY coordinated South Dakota Department of Tourism’s sponsorship of Travel Massive, a meet-up in 65 cities around the world for travel bloggers, media and industry professionals. The event took place in NYC, the largest Travel Massive market, with more than 125 attendees including editors at Travel + Leisure, Time, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, The Daily Meal, USA Today, Huffington Post, Yahoo!, Fodor’s, Food Republic, Budget Travel and ShermansTravel. Attendees networked while sipping on destination-inspired cocktails and taking pictures with the Mount Rushmore mascots. Stay tuned for CheapCaribbean.com’s beach-themed Travel Massive in NYC this December!

4.  Meet, mingle and cheers with the world’s best bloggers

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Founded in 2008, TBEX is the world’s largest conference and networking event for online travel journalists and travel industry companies. Held in Fort Lauderdale this year, MMGY coordinated participation for clients CheapCaribbean.com and Palladium Hotels & Resorts, meeting face-to-face with hundreds of bloggers and content creators. Both brands received front-and-center exposure to the 700+ attendees through speed networking sessions with bloggers and traditional media. CheapCaribbean.com even hosted a margarita themed happy hour complete with a reggae band. In addition to networking, TBEX offered valuable sessions such as “Why Travel Brands Must Embrace Visual Storytelling,” “Working with Travel Bloggers,” “Know Your Influencer: How to get the most out of Blogger Campaigns,” and “Intel from the Other Side: A Former Travel Writer Tells All.”

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