As a PR professional, I have spent many years organizing press conferences, company-wide meetings, and, of course, trying to get the word out about a given subject to local and national news outlets. I have recently had an opportunity to see (up close and personal) the value of satellite communications including the satellite media tour. In 2017, a world of wireless communications, HD television and global access to the Internet, there is another option that provides incredible advantages: satellite communications.
My friends at Telesat spell it out extremely well and answer two key questions:
Why does the satellite industry continue to grow? When is satellite the best solution?
- Cost Effectiveness – Cost of satellite capacity does not increase with the number of users/receive sites, or with the distance between communication points. Whether crossing continents or staying local, satellite connection cost is distance insensitive.
- Global Availability – Communications satellites cover all land masses and there is growing capacity to serve maritime and even aeronautical markets. Customers in rural and remote regions around the world who cannot obtain high-speed Internet access from a terrestrial provider are increasingly relying on satellite communications.
- Superior Reliability – Satellite communications can operate independently from terrestrial infrastructure. When terrestrial outages occur from man-made and natural events, satellite connections remain operational.
- Superior Performance – Satellite is unmatched for broadcast applications like television. For two-way IP networks, the speed, uniformity and end-to-end control of today’s advanced satellite solutions are resulting in greater use of satellite by corporations, governments, and consumers.
- Immediacy and Scalability – Additional receive sites, or nodes on a network, can readily be added, sometimes within hours. All it takes is ground-based equipment. Satellite has proven its value as a provider of “instant infrastructure” for commercial, government and emergency relief communications.
- Versatility and More – Satellites effectively support on a global basis all forms of communications ranging from simple point-of-sale validation to bandwidth-intensive multimedia applications. Satellite solutions are highly flexible and can operate independently or as part of a larger network.
The satellite media tour (SMT) fits neatly under the sub-heading of “Versatility and More” and when I came across this article by Alex Hinojosa, SVP at 4media Group Inc, I was thrilled to see that I am not the only one that sees the value and PR potential of the SMT.
As Alex writes, “A satellite media tour (SMT) remains an effective public relations tactic that can often generate high-quality results that matter to your clients. However, an SMT in 2016 is very different from 10 years ago, back when we all had MySpace accounts. Today, across the PR services spectrum, it’s all about the PESO—the Paid-Earned-Shared-Owned model—and the same is true for an SMT.”
In my capacity as chief marketer for Freebird Communications Inc., I have recently had the chance to see the benefits our customers find in the SMT and in SNG (Satellite News Gathering) in that there is no more cost-effective option for reaching a vast audience be it your own staff and shareholders to your current and potential customers. Plus, there is an authenticity to live communications that one just doesn’t find in recorded videos or even podcasts. Don’t get me wrong, those formats have great value but from conferences to corporate news, the ability to communicate nation-wide or world-wide at such an affordable price can engender significant loyalty and move an organization leaps and bounds in one, fell, swoop.
Take this example from Ernst and Young who turned to News Generation for assistance in reaching corporate decision makers in advance of tax season:
News Generation targeted business and general news programs and networks with a goal of securing 20 high-quality interviews. The satellite media tour setting was ideal for this topic, as it gave television anchors the ability to customize their questions. “Given that taxes are one of the more complicated subjects, stations enjoyed the ability to ask follow up questions and delve deeper into particular topics of interest to their viewers.”
The satellite media tour reached more than one million viewers across twenty info-filled, consumer-friendly interviews. Nationally, an interview aired on First Business which has 108 affiliates across the country, including WMGM, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia and KCRA, the NBC affiliate inSacramento. Fox Affiliates in Los Angeles, Seattle-Tacoma and Minneapolis-St. Paul conducted interviews, as did NBC affiliates inDenver, Albuquerque-Santa Fe, andDaytonOhio.
We, marketers, know that purchasing that kind of exposure through an on-going campaign would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Coupled with the fact that we marketers (and PR) folk are all too aware that our current media contacts are ever-changing and keeping an updated media list is a daily challenge, reaching that many viewers through that many stations is not an insignificant feat!
SMT is not only for large, multi-national corporations like Ernst and Young, either--read about the remarkable work by Moldow Communications out of New Jersey. They helped the Asthma and Allergy Foundation achieve their goals and won an award for the work to boot. Having spent much of my career in non-profits, I can attest that budgets are never exorbitant. So, Satellite Communication and Satellite Media Tours are much more affordable than you might think. Depending on your goals, the ROI can far exceed the expense.