Posts tagged ‘hosting’
By Jo Heaton
I’m sure when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, journalist would have featured on the list. Eventually I realised that copywriters and marketers get to make things up and that sounded fun-ner. Hosting RWC media recently reminded me I’d made a sensible choice – like Lance Armstrong’s large lungs and Phar Lap’s oversized heart, you need a genetic advantage processing alcohol to be a journalist!
Positively Wellington Tourism hosts lots of media – 75 different international files last year including Huffington Post, BBC UK and fashion titles like Marie Claire and Vogue, plus domestic and Australian media. They’re usually travel or lifestyle writers exploring Wellington’s arts and culinary scenes, covering key tourism experiences for Sunday travel pages and sometimes, TV crews filming culinary competitions or the Brancott Estate World of WearableArt Awards Show. Often, they’re visiting as part of Tourism New Zealand’s International Media Programme. We thought we knew media here at PWT team International .. and then we met the international sports contingent covering RWC2011.
TNZ provided national co-ordination, Regional Tourism Organisations applied local knowledge and contacts to giving the media something else to write about when journos weren’t at press conferences and training runs. We even had two of our team located within the stadium Media Centre. First task – welcome the media to Wellington. Fantastic Maori welcome at Te Papa, add alcohol and a diverse bunch of rugby-related Wellingtonians followed by the Opening Ceremony and All Blacks v Japan. David Perks and The Mayor welcomed the visitors to Our Place and invited them to make Wellington their place too. I kinda think Wellington succeeded there. Kevin McCallum wrote some great blogs during the tournament and has an impressive Twitter following of over 10,000 and 43,000 posts!
PWT devised a great plan of activities and excursions for media visiting Wellington. Then we realised sports media don’t follow itineraries – they follow Dan Carter’s groin and mouth guard scandals. Out with plans, in with improvising. A lot of improvising for foreign language media where Wellington was “the most Argentine city of them all” and the French regard us as a ‘human-sized capital’.
When the Scots got a day off, they spent it ‘researching’ the Classic NZ Wine Trail for a story in The Scotsman. “There is also a potent Scots connection around Wellington, perhaps unsurprisingly, linked with alcohol.” Our Destination Wairarapa colleagues even managed Sir Brian Lahore for an impromptu appearance.
“The NZ Navy is in port – can we get onboard?” Apparently you can. Two calls earnt this note from Zeena at South African Broadcasting Corp who covered cafes, quad bikes and HMNZS Resolution. “I just wanted to convey our thanks on behalf of SABC for all your help to get us a few awesome colour pieces in Wellington. You guys have been rock stars!”
Wellington played its part in the stadium of four million, as did Petone Rugby Club. One of my favourite memories will be introducing a group of French journalists to former All Black captain, Andy Leslie, then watching them recite his career history back to him.
French, beer tours for the Irish and Wellywood for many. Spotting a kiwi was popular. “Before we get to Auckland, I must pay tribute to the people at Zealandia inWellington, where we spent three hours in the darkness with a motley crew of visitors from across the globe searching for a kiwi. Wellington Tourism set up the media with some fantastic opportunities around the great little capital city and finding a kiwi was a must. Zealandia is one of the most impressive natural habitats ‘created’ by man I have seen, in an effort to restore parts of the country to its most colourful natural state and encourage wild life to thrive.” (David Ferguson, The Scotsman)
Controversial writer Mark Reason of the UK Daily Telegraph took in I, George Nepia at Circa Theatre which resulted in one of the more cerebral pieces and arts featured in EuroSports France rugby coverage too. Maurice Bennett, aka The Toast Man, provided a quirky angle for media with his toast portraits immortalising the games greats. Unlike many nationalities who were in New Zealand for six or seven weeks, the Australians seemed to fly in and fly out, but ninemsn were still wild about Wellington’s food, art and outdoor activities.
More media results will arrive through TNZ’s media monitoring process and these links represent a just small sample of stories we sourced. An understanding of the offside rule excepted, I learnt a lot during the Rugby World Cup.
- If I’m holding a glass, I’m ‘off the record’ (still pays to check!)
- South African journalists have an uncanny ability to find really dodgy bars.
- No experience is wasted – a conversation with sports journalists can cover misery memoirs, world politics, the Tour de France and good hairdressers in under an hour.
- Some writers were turning out 5-7 stories a day for multiple outlets plus blogging and tweeting. If I was a journalist, I’d work for a travel glossy with months to turn in a piece!
- Less than 1% of sports journalists I met during the tournament are tee-total. Fact.
- Ask any Wellingtonian, from ex-All Blacks to one-man tour operators to host media, and they’ll represent the city with stories, passion and generosity.
To quote David Ferguson, “(Tourism) is where one feels this incredible country will benefit most from hosting the Rugby World Cup…New Zealand has opened the eyes of the world to its delights, and I confidently predict that many, many people will return here. Put in on your ‘bucket list’ now. Thank you for your hospitality New Zealand.”
RWC media loved Wellington and Wellingtonians. My favourite, “Wellington tourism opened their arms to the South Africans and embraced us. The different New Zealand tourist people we have met thus far might just be the best in the world.”
And the best in the world – well, that’s you, folks. Tourism operators, volunteers and Wellingtonians who shared their city and stories with the world during RWC2011.
By Angela Moriarty
Itineraries are packed and column inches are tight, so how do you make sure you get a mention? When hosting media, you can never guarantee coverage, but there are certainly ways of upping your chances. Here’s a few of our team’s tips:
1. Be Flexible
This might mean being available outside your normal office hours, offering to arrange a bespoke shortened tour, or responding to conversations on-the-ground.
2. Do Your Research
Familiarise yourself with the publication/ blog/show that the journalist or crew you are hosting are from. You’ll find most writers’ work online, so have a read and get a feel for their style, interests and opinions.
3. Choose the Right Host
The earlier you realise that that might not always be you, the quicker you’ll travel on the road to coverage. Think about who is going to be most interesting to the writer concerned. Foodies might fancy a sit down with your chef while international journos are often keen to get the story from ex pats from their homeland. Don’t be afraid to open things up by bringing others to the table.
4. Be Relevant
Travel journalists will often be writing generic destination stories, while lifestyle writers may be focused on a particular angle. Ask the journalist up front what they’re most interested in and let that guide your conversation. When PWT is arranging the itinerary, we’ll do our best to let you know beforehand so you can choose hosts and tailor your media blurbs accordingly.
5. Be on Time
Goes without saying really.
6. Chuck the Spiel and Be Real
Soft sell is the new hard sell. Domestic and Australian media are particularly wary of ‘PR types’. Charm, but don’t smarm. Relationships, relevance and action over talk are going to get you the best results.
7. Mind Your Manners
Watch your manners, your alcohol intake and be positive. If hosting international media, scrub up on the culture and customs of their country. Eg: It’s polite to present Chinese visitors your business card with two hands.
8. Hook, Line and Sinker
So what’s a good hook? It’s something new, it’s awards, it’s knowledge, it’s quirky personalities, it’s collaborations, it’s…kind of hard to explain. Would you consider it interesting dinner party conversation? If so, it’s probably a hook. Make sure you keep our team up-to-date on your news – that way we can help bring it into conversation.
9. Invest in the experience
Many see media as free publicity, but a little investment can deliver big returns. Pop a small (useful or consumable) gift in their hotel room, buy them a coffee, contract a photographer to get great images….going the extra mile will help make you stand out.
10. Follow Up
Travel journos don’t take as many notes as news reporters. Have fact sheets and image discs on hand, but also realise some of these people are travelling and the only extra luggage they may fancy is what they plan to pick up in the shops. Offer the resources, but also to follow up with a link to downloads on your website or send through on email. Check their deadline and be sure to get it through in plenty of time.
So there’s some tips from us, but what about you? Tell us your ideas and experiences on what has worked for you when hosting travel media.
By Martin Boland
Last week the Wellington Convention Bureau and a heap of its partners hosted 25 conference buyers from around New Zealand and the eastern seaboard of Australia on a three day ‘Mega Famil’. We do one of these once a year each April and we ensure we roll out the red carpet.
A huge amount of time, effort and detail from the Bureau team is put into ensuring our guests each have their own personalised itinerary. Like us all, these clients have their own individual wants and needs – doing a progressive coach site just doesn’t cut the mustard. We’re rapt to report the team delivered with rave reviews – it was “Wellingtonon Steroids” according to one slightly insane Australian.
These guys are really worth the effort, with over $5 million worth of business on the line from these 25 people alone. We’ll keep you posted as to the wins we secure from them; we certainly have made them ambassadors for our city and region.
Get Your Slice of the Conference Pie
If your main source of income in the meetings and conference area is from the local regional Wellington area you really must exhibit at the Wellington Conference and Events Expo 2011 on 13 July. This has been brought forward from October and is THE one regional showcase for the conference and incentives market. If you don’t front up, you’ll be the one missing the business!