Now that you have a better understanding of what FAM trips are and why they happen, let’s look at some tips on how to plan the perfect FAM trip.
- Location, location, location! – Make sure your hotel is in a central location so that it is easy to get to other destinations on the itinerary.
- Allow plenty of time between activities – it’s very easy to get delayed when entertaining a group of journalists. And always allow for traffic during rush hours!
- Schedule free time so that the journalists have the opportunity to explore your destination on their own.
- Be sure to check with your journalists to make sure no one has food allergies or special dietary requirements – it’s best to find this out in advance so that your restaurant partners are aware and can prepare accordingly.
- Try to schedule arrivals and departures around the same time to simplify airport pickups and drop offs.
- Prior to their arrival, provide your guests with weather forecasts and dress codes for any events, dinners, or other activities on the itinerary. This will allow them to best prepare for their trip.
- Share the itinerary in advance of the trip – this way the journalists can independently research the locations they will be visiting. Many journalists are often working on other deadlines while they’re participating in a FAM trip, so it’s also beneficial for them to see the schedule in advance so they can plan time to get their work done.
- Have welcome gifts and press kits ready when the journalists arrive – either waiting in their rooms or distributed during hotel check-in.
- Secure local “ambassadors,” who can provide a local perspective, to attend dinners or meet journalists at key locations.
- Whenever possible, include a special VIP or behind-the-scenes tour – these exclusive experiences help make the journalists feel special.
- When planning each stop on the itinerary, make sure to have a knowledgeable representative on-hand who is comfortable speaking to the group and answering questions about his respective business (restaurant, hotel, museum, etc).
- Make sure that all FAM trip partners provide press kits or other informative materials about their business so that the journalists have all information handy when they are ready to start writing.
- Use this time to get to know the journalists and focus on building a relationship that will last beyond the trip.
- After the FAM trip, send the journalists a follow up email to make sure they have everything needed for their stories (images, quotes, recipes, etc.). Also, use this opportunity to communicate any of your own specific requests (physical copy of the article, links to the story when it runs, etc.).
- Create a recap report of all clips and posts from the trip to provide a comprehensive look at all earned coverage. Share the report, along with any insights gained, with your client and all partners so that they can see the results of their investment.
Do you have any FAM trip tips? Let us know by tweeting us your tips @DEVENEYnola using the #DEVchat hashtag.